Molly—A Drug That Sounds Innocent—Has Disastrous and Deadly Side Effects

Molly, a variety of the drug MDMA, also sometimes called Ecstasy, might help you party all night, but it also just might kill you.

Molly or Ecstasy Tablets
Molly Drug
MDMA, thought of as a party drug and also called Molly or Ecstasy, is typically taken in tablet form (top, right) or in a capsule (above, right).

Molly is an alternate name for MDMA—an acronym for the chemical named 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine—a synthetic drug similar to a stimulant and a hallucinogen. It produces feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth and distorted sensory and time perception.

MDMA, an off-white powder or crystal, does not bind well into pill form, so Ecstasy, typically sold as a pill, includes fillers to maintain its shape. But, “Molly,” short for “molecular,” the nickname of the “pure” form of MDMA, is usually in a capsule, which holds the powder without fillers. However, Molly is anything but pure. It’s often mixed with other drugs like synthetic bath salts, cocaine, meth and Ritalin. This leads to dangerous and sometimes deadly side effects. In a four-year period, only 13 percent of Molly seized in New York State contained any MDMA.

Molly is anything but pure. It’s often mixed with other drugs like synthetic bath salts, cocaine, meth and Ritalin. This leads to dangerous and sometimes deadly side effects.

Molly stimulates three brain chemicals: dopamine, which produces more energy; norepinephrine, which increases heart rate and blood pressure; and serotonin, which affects mood, appetite and sleep. Effects last from three to six hours and can include nausea, muscle cramping, blurred vision, chills and sweating. In the week following, the user may experience irritability, aggression, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, memory and attention problems, decreased appetite and decreased interest in and pleasure from sex.

High doses of MDMA can lead to a spike in body temperature that can result in liver, kidney or heart failure or even death.

While the drug was developed by a German pharmaceutical company as an appetite suppressant in 1912, it became popular in the 1970s when psychiatrists started using it in psychotherapy without clinical trials or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because of its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, it quickly became popular in the party scene. The FDA labeled MDMA in 1985 as an illegal drug with no known medicinal benefits.



It is incontrovertible that drug use and crime are related. Here are the US stats as one example:



found in the systems of those arrested for crimes was marijuana



is the estimated economic impact on the US of illicit drug use in one year



of US federal prison inmates went to jail for a crime they committed in order to get drugs




someone dies in an alcohol-related vehicle crash



of those arrested had at least one drug in their system at the time of arrest


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