"Have you seen Molly?" That's the question that has led to a new drug epidemic sweeping the nation, claiming three lives just this past week.
Just like marijuana in the '60s, LSD in the '70s, and cocaine in the '80s, Molly has tightened her hold on a generation of young people as parents, thinking their kids are just talking about a friend named Molly at school, turn a blind eye.
Here's everything to know about the newest drug trend Molly.
What is Molly?
According to DrugAbuse.gov, "Molly," which is slang for molecular,
is the pure crystalline form of MDMA, the popular club drug known in its pill form as ecstasy. Molly can induce euphoria, a heightened sense of intimacy with others, diminished anxiety, and mild psychedelia or mania.
Taken orally, usually as a capsule or a tablet, Molly is popular on the nightclub and rave scenes because it enhances the serotonin receptors in the brain, producing mood-altering effects that can last anywhere from 3-6 hours.
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The downside is that the drug depletes the brain of those important chemicals, leaving a user coming down off Molly feeling fatigued, irritable, and even depressed.
In high doses Molly can inhibit the body's ability to regulate its temperature, causing hyperthermia or severe dehydration, and resulting in liver damage, kidney failure, and even death.
Molly can also be mixed with anything and experts say taking the drug is like playing Russian roulette.
"When a buyer abuses something called Molly, there’s no way to tell what’s in it," Rusty Payne, a spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Agency, told Yahoo Shine
. "That's the most dangerous thing about these drugs."
Why is it in the news?
A couple reasons. First, it's being blamed for the deaths of two young people at a New York music festival over the weekend, and is suspected in another death at Boston's House of Blues last week.
New York's Electric Zoo Festival — which features electronic dance music (EDM) from popular DJs — was shut down Sunday after two concertgoers, ages 23 and 20, died of suspected Molly overdoses, though toxicology reports are still pending, USA Today reported.
A 19-year-old college student also died last week and a handful of others were hospitalized after attending a concert at the Boston House of Blues.
Molly is also making headlines for its glamorization in pop culture. Miley Cyrus sang about "dancing on Molly" during her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards Aug. 25, and other celebrities like Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Mac Miller have songs with Molly-laced lyrics.
What are people saying about Molly?
Some fans of EDM are outraged that their scene is being blamed for the concert deaths.
"Drug use is now being associated with this culture, which is upsetting," Rebecca Persaud, 21, a senior at Northeastern University, told USA Today. "You have people like me and my friends who genuinely love the beats and want to hear it come to life at these concerts."
Health experts are worried.
"We're seeing more people in the E.R., more people with toxic reactions, and more overdoses from the drug," Dr. H. Westley Clark, director for the Center of Substance Abuse Treatment, told Yahoo Shine.
Concert organizers are concerned.
"We have been hearing about people dying at shows for years
, but as veterans of the scene, we always have this hope that we as a community have moved past inclinations to such irresponsible behavior," EDM Tunes wrote on its blog over the weekend. "Sadly, this simply is not true. We must never forget the double dose of reality the past seven days have brought upon our community. Three people are dead, and six have been hospitalized because of our own deficiencies as a community. Let this number be the only reason we need to force drug education and festival safety into the forefront."
And even the musicians who play these EDM shows, including American DJ Kaskade and producer Zedd, are speaking out against Molly.
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