Molly is one of many street names given to the psychoactive substance known as MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). Other common names are E, ecstasy, X, rolls, or XTC.
Molly is MDMA in powder form that is typically considered (albeit incorrectly, in most cases) to be a purer form of the drug without the presents of fillers or adulterants. While perception amongst users is that the crystalline powder form of MDMA – or Molly – is pure MDMA, studies have shown that it’s not uncommon to purchase Molly that contains none of the active ingredient – MDMA – at all.
While the street form of MDMA (ecstasy) is typically sold in pill form, test kits have shown that each pill typically only contains a small amount of MDMA, leaving the manufacturer to use additives such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or even baby aspirin in order to cheapen the manufacturing process. Molly, on the other hand, is often thought to be pure, but it typically contains related drugs such as methylone, MDPV, mephedrone, or other substances that act as fillers and increase profitability from sales of the substance. If some of these chemicals sound familiar, they should, as methylone, MDPV and mephedrone are all active ingredients in substances known as “bath salts” which are responsible for some rather frightening psychotic episodes among users.
Who Uses Molly?
Young adults and active club-goers are the most common users of Molly, or ecstasy. The drug has been around since the early 1900s, and was synthesized by Merck chemist Anton Kollisch in 1912. The drug was mainly shelved until the 1960s when Alexander Shulgin began researching the therapeutic effects of the drug.
The drug was ultimately criminalized in 1984, but remained popular in Europe in the burgeoning underground rave scene before gaining widespread popularity amongst young club-goers in the United States.
To this day, the young rave and club demographic are still the most common users of the drug.
Why Do Young Adults Use Molly?
Molly, or MDMA, is known as a serotonin-norepinehprine-dopamine releasing agent and reuptake inhibitor. While long-winded, the scientific definition merely means that the drug is responsible for releasing serotonin and dopamine, which then flood the brains pleasure centers leading to a heightened sense of physical sensitivity (touch, taste, etc.), empathy, and an overwhelming sense of euphoria.
Why is Molly Dangerous?
Since Molly is a powder, you don’t often know what you’re getting. In fact, it may not be Molly at all, and even when MDMA is present it could be mixed with other drugs, which have the potential to lead to dangerous drug interactions.
Another potential danger of Molly is due to the mental state that it causes. Decreased inhibitions as well as a noticeable decline in decision making ability can lead to risky sexual behavior, use of other drugs in combination with Molly, and an overall feeling of invincibility which is compounded by the fact that MDMA’s biggest danger is due to increased heart rate, core body temperature, and dehydration. These three factors lead to the body overheating, dehydrating, and overworking itself in order to try to cool the core temperature, which leads to hospital visits, and sometimes even death. Between the risks of the drug itself, and the unknown substances it may contain, the threat of bodily harm is quite high.
In addition, the release of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine in such high amounts depletes reserves which leaves the body unable to regulate mood and attitude in the subsequent days following use. This leads to the coining of the phrase “suicide Mondays” to describe the feelings of anxiety, depression and lethargy that accompany a weekend of using MDMA. The long-term implications on mental health are still not fully understood, but the temporary state of depression it causes has been linked to thoughts of self-harm.
Molly use is a growing trend among young adults due to its positive effects on their overall state of well being as well as the energy-inducing jolt caused by the nature of amphetamines. However, most young adults that use the substance are quite unaware of the inherent danger to their bodies, as well as their mental state.
Additional education on the dangers of Molly, as well as other recreational drugs has proven to be an effective tool for parents to lessen the risk of drug abuse for teens and young adults.