09 Jul Molly: Not the Sweet Girl Next Door, but the Party Pill That’s on the Up Rise!
Molly, a MDMA party drug, is becoming quite popular in today’s music scene and pop culture. Even in hip-hop and rap music, mollys are known and associated with several artists and musicians. The way that it is being portrayed by music moguls, it makes it seem like it’s part of what someone does if they are “cool” or they are part of the party crowd.
You’d think that with such an innocent, sweet, pleasant and inviting name it would be some household known talented entertainer, or the kind girl next door who you let your son or daughter spend time with, but it’s a drug. In fact, it’s the same drug that already has a negative association connected with it – ecstasy. The only difference between molly and ecstasy is the attractive name and the way that people are promoting the drug amongst the party scenes.
What is Molly? Should I Be Worried About It?
Molly, mandy, ecstasy, thizz, “E,” “X”, are all slang for the “designer” or “party” pills that are being distributed and used among the youth in the party, club, music, and rave scene. The chemical responsible for the euphoric high in these pills is called MDMA, which is short for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The mortality rates of MDMA are quite low compared to other illicit street drug abuse. However, it is important to become informed about the history behind the drug, the possibly hazardous physical and mental effects, the potential for exhibiting harmful or risky behavior as result of clouded judgment, and the lifestyle and culture surrounding the drug.
What Does the Drug Do?
Ecstasy, now being referred to as molly, has been coined the “love drug” because of the various effects it produces on perception of the user. Molly primarily targets and affects serotonin in the brain, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood, memory, and learning. However, it also escalates the amount of dopamine, which is responsible for reward-driven learning and pleasure sensations that are released into the brain. Essentially, molly rushes the brain with serotonin, resulting in extreme euphoria, emotional openness, and increased sensitivity of the senses such as taste, touch, hearing, etc. Like with any other drug, after the high follows a comedown or a crash. The crash happens because the brain begins to be depleted of serotonin and has to start to create more.
Molly is most often take orally in the form of a pill or capsule, but it also can be insufflated, or more simply put, snorted. The user begins to feel the effects within the hour if ingested orally and much quicker if snorted. The initial feeling once ingested can be uncomfortable; it can fill the person with anxiety as they began to feel strange physical sensations invade their body. However, this begins to subside as soon as the onset, which is very rapid, takes place and the individual begins to peak. The peak or “high” lasts several hours and can be extended by taking more. After the peak the person is still in an altered state of mind, characterized by restlessness and a difference in perception that can last many more hours. The feeling one experiences from molly has the following characteristics: widely dilated pupils, feeling that everything is the way it is supposed to be, everything is beautiful, connectedness to the world, intimacy with surrounding people, emotional openness, increased sensitivity to hearing and touch in a pleasurable way, visuals (both with open and closed eyes), streaking of lights, increased colors, minor hallucinations, and many more. After the high there is the comedown period where the effects begin to subside. The length of the comedown depends on the amount ingested and the individual circumstances of the person. Some experience nothing as a result of their use and others may feel depression, mental fatigue, or physical discomfort that can last anywhere from briefly to a weeks time (in rare cases, even longer than a week). Ultimately, the reason that people take molly is because it makes the individual feel absolutely euphoric – but at what cost? That is the concern.
Growing Popularity of Molly
Even with the drug being made illegal, it grew in popularity, especially in the music and rave scene. The popularity of molly, at the time referred to as ecstasy, was growing alongside the popularity of raves and electronic music festivals. These music festivals were and are the ideal places to take ecstasy: huge crowds, loud and fast music, and glowing lights that play tricks on the eyes. The characteristics of these raves were tailored for the community of persons attending, mostly people who were high on ecstasy. This environment facilitated the increasing popularity of the drug and attracted more people to the rave scene. However, the media focused in on the rave world and began associating it with ecstasy and electronic music, throwing them into one category and attributing a negative connotation to the whole scene. These raves were being described as drug infested dance parties for teenagers to run amuck. This spotlight also aided in the creation of laws targeting those who are distributing the drug as well as those promoting these events who some say are responsible for the increasing popularity of the drug. The negativity associated with ecstasy, the new knowledge that it might be impure, and the bad rap that was connected with the entire scene turned many away from it all and made more people hesitant to experiment with it. People, however, still wanted to experience the same effects but in a “safer” way so they turned over to molly – the supposedly pure form of ecstasy.
Within the last couple years there has been another surge in the use of the drug, which is now coined as molly. The increased popularity may by due in part by the promotion of the drug by musicians like Madonna, Lil Wayne, Trinidad James, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Tyga, French Montana, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Jay- Z, Mac miller, Drake and more – all big time names in the music industry and all of them recognized and often idolized by the adolescent-teen society. Some concrete examples of these artists referencing molly are:
- Madonna at the Ultra Musical Festival 2012 in Miami asking the crowd, “Have any of you seen Molly?”
- Trinidad Jame’s song “All Gold Everything” with the renown line: “Pop a Molly, I’m Sweatin.’”
- Tyga’s slew of songs referencing it, even one blatantly called “Molly.”
- Rick Ross in his song “You Don’t Even Know It,” saying he “…puts Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and enjoyed that, she ain’t even know.”
- 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj in their song “Beez in the Trap” with the line “Got your girl on Molly and we smoking loud and drinking.”
- In “Mercy” by Kanye West and featuring others, he says “…something ‘bout Mary, she gone off that Molly.”
These are just a few references to molly in today’s songs. There are numerous more songs and lyrics alluding to molly and that could be a driving force in the recent resurgence of the drug. The intention of these famous artists is not to promote the drug because they benefit from teenagers taking molly, but because their agenda is to market themselves; they know that molly is viewed as cool by today’s teen generation and it’s a way that they can advance their own careers. It’s considered to be cool because they are the ones talking about it, teenagers are attracted to those artists in the first place so they follow what the musicians talk about, and the musicians continue to promote it because the topic has already been proven to be popular. What is going on is that the music industry has a logistical business model with an established and highly interested audience. All of this is not to say that the entertainment industry is responsible for people taking molly, but that they do play a role in continued interest in the subject.
The Dangers of Molly
The increasing focus by the entertainment industry and media on the word “molly” is itself dangerous. It’s dangerous because “molly” is alludes to being pure – the name molly is a short slang word derived from the word “molecule,” with the chemical referring to MDMA. MDMA itself is not necessarily lethal; it most likely will not result in harmful physical consequences – although there is the potential for them to occur. But the way that ecstasy is now being marketed, as a pure, almost harmless substance that is sweetly termed “molly,” people infer that what they are taking is unadulterated, uncut MDMA when in fact they most often have no certain idea about what they are ingesting. The danger lies in that people think they are being responsible about their drug use because they assume they know what they are taking. They believe molly to be a trust-worthy thing because it is they are led to believe it is harmless and it is both affordable and effective at what people intend for it do, get them high for the night. The euphoric effects, the adrenaline rush, and the good time people have blinds them from seeing anything wrong or harmful with what they are doing, and this validates the belief that molly is safe.
What people are not aware of is that they may ingest a slew of harmful substances that are used to cut molly (this means that the supplier mixes the MDMA with something else in order to save costs on their end by selling the same total weight but using less of their actual product). These substances that people put in the molly capsules can include those found in the dangerous bath salts (methylone, mephedrone, butylone, etc,), amphetamines, research chemicals, high dosages of cold medication, etc. Although the user believes that they are taking a relatively harmless substance, they could potentially be taking a lethal dose of something else – there is really no way to definitively know what is in the capsule that one is taking. The fact that people trust the quality of the molly capsules they are ingesting because the name “molly” implies purity is scary. Following that sort of thinking it would not be worrisome for the individual to take increasing doses. If a person was to ingest pure MDMA at a proper dose, there is realistically not much concern for their safety; that is the ideal situation that users shoot for, but that is just not reality. The reality is that the product, molly, is not regulated or controlled and there is no sort of quality control process; the dealer decides what its in it and the user buys the product on good faith alone.
- The loss of inhibitions once high could lead to harmful or hazardous behavior. Molly is dangerous when mixed with other drugs or even alcohol. The high from molly makes the person feel overly comfortable, coupled with some unawareness and the individual may be willing to mix the molly with other substances – that could be very dangerous. Also, the individual may become willing to drive while intoxicated and this presents danger to others on the road
- It is cheap and effective at getting individuals high, thus making it a viable choice for those interested in drugs
- Molly seems like an attractive option for those under the age of 21 because it is easier to obtain than alcohol and it is easier to conceal possession
- The loss of inhibition may lead to unsafe sex practices. The false sense of security and the false sense of connectedness with other people may lead to individuals becoming willing to participate in illegal activities or get them in dangerous situation they normally would have avoided
- People on prescribed medications might not know how molly interacts with their medicine. For instance, for people who take SSRI’s or antidepressants may experience effects that range from the molly not taking any effect, serious depression, and all the way to death
- Those who mental health issues may experience worsening of their condition
- Dehydration as a result of increased body heat and physical activity. Water-intoxication as a result of excessively drinking water because of the fear of dehydration
- Potential and serious legal consequences as a result of possession, intoxication, or illegal actions
- The emotional state one is in as a result of taking molly may increase their needs for attention and this could lead to erratic, dangerous attention-seeking behavior
- Depression, anxiety, and restlessness after the high wears off may push individuals to continue to take molly. The law of diminishing returns applies to molly intake; this means that each time it is ingested, the level of the high is reduced and this may make the individual increase their dosage to dangerous levels. It could also lead to overdose that could potentially cause organ failure or brain hemorrhaging
- In rare cases users may experiences seizures, stroke, organ failure, scary hallucinations, paranoia, and psychotic episodes