It is all MDMA, short for (here’s a mouthful for you): 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). No doubt by now you have heard of the young people who died at a NYC electronic music festival. Most likely because of the effects of Molly. There were 4 other people there who got super sick too, but luckily did not die. Just this past weekend, a college sophomore died in a DC club from an overdose of purified ecstasy. There was a death in Boston and some more overdoses there. It is to the point that officials are trying to see if there is a new, particularly dangerous batch of Molly out there that is even more risky than before.
These are young adults. Honors students. Athletes. Fun loving people with a full bright life ahead of them. A lot of things in common with you. The good news is that it seems like fewer teens have been using MDMA over the past 10 years; but still, it seems that about 7% of High School Seniors have used it.
You ask: “What is MDMA exactly?”
MDMA is a chemical that is similar to the stimulant amphetamine, and the hallucinogen mescaline. Stimulant? Hallucinogen? What, you say? It revs up your nervous system and messes up how you perceive or sense things.
You wanna know: “Exactly what happens when I take it?”
Well, usually it is taken as a pill, or capsule. Totally easy to sneak in places which is part of the reason it is used by young people. After you pop one:
- 15 minutes: It enters your blood
- 45 minutes: It peaks and you experience your high. You are feeling alert, a bit hyper, have a sense of euphoria (intense happiness), you feel close to people, have empathy for them, you are bonding more easily with people, starting to experience sexual arousal, and your senses start to change – like your sense of touch is all revved up, and you totally get a messed up sense of time.
“Wow, sounds awesome!” you say?
Well, no. SO, some time passes and there is other stuff that happens to you too (there always is….) All the bonding and warm feelings and sexual arousal leads to, you guessed it, risky sexual behavior. So back to STDs, pregnancy, unwanted sex, and all those other things. Then – you start to get anxious and agitated. You get dizzy. You sweat. You cannot stop clenching your teeth. So bad in fact that you look around and there are people using pacifiers to break the teeth clenching. Feeling queasy now. Heart is racing, blood pressure is up. Getting chills.So , hours pass. Now what? Sadness. Anxiety. Depression. Confusion. Memory is messed up – can’t remember old stuff, can’t remember new stuff. And you get drug craving. This lasts for a few days up to a week (even after one pill). LET ME REPEAT – YOU TAKE ONE PILL, THE CRASH WITH ALL THESE SYMPTOMS LASTS FOR DAYS TO A WEEK! You take Molly regularly – all these crash symptoms last even longer.
You remark: “OK, WhatEVER”:
No, NOT WhatEVER….. Molly can be dangerous. Beyond this stuff. It can be deadly. I know, I know, everyone is always telling you how the fun stuff can kill you, but there is a reason they keep telling you. IT CAN! Big problem here is it is unpredictable. Total Roulette. Random. How you ask? Well, you are in a club. Dancing. For hours. Hot. Molly in the system. Now your body cannot regulate your temperature – which is fancy speak for your body cannot do its usual thing to cool off to stay at a safe temperature. You get dehydrated. Beyond a little thirst. If you are really unlucky, this can all add up to Hyperthermia – which is also fancy speak for unsafe and possibly deadly increased body temperature. This plus the dehydration causes kidney failure. Liver failure. Heart to have abnormal rhythms and maybe even stop. Small doses only? Problem is that MDMA actually stops its own metabolism (how your body breaks it down to get rid of it) so levels can go up and up and up even with small doses taken quickly, or with a single high dose. Higher the levels, the higher the risk of problems. And THIS can all happen from Molly alone. And it does, as you see from the news. Now add to that the problem that it is often taken with pot, alcohol, other drugs and the risks add up even more. So you won’t take anything else with it you say? STILL not a great idea cuz Molly comes laced with all sorts of mysterious chemicals like PCP, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, ketamine, and you will never know what is in it. Stuff is sold as ecstasy that isn’t – bath salts anyone?
You say: “So, look, I read all about it online and there are tons of people who used it and are fine and had a great time. In fact I HAVE used it and you are totally inflating the risk.”
You know what, you are lucky, and that is great and I am happy for you. But imagine this. Your best friend and you take it at your next party. He dies. How would you feel? It is totally random, remember. SO you can’t predict what will happen. Or imagine this – you have taken it before, so this time, you stick with your small doses but take a few of ‘em in a row. Now YOU die. Friends, classmates, teammates, brothers, sisters, parents – all of them are devastated by your being gone. Or you don’t die, but you have permanent brain damage (yes, that is for real) – so you cannot live out your dreams and you cannot even take care of yourself at all.
Want more info?
Concert goers overdose on Molly? NIDA for Teens
From NIH: Drug Facts: Ecstasy
Bottom line: Go out. Have fun. Bond with your friends. Dance your heart out. But don’t invite Molly to the party, because she sure can ruin it for you and for everyone else.