Molly is so sweet. Wholesome. Clean. Untainted. She’s the girl next door whose very name implies purity and parental approval. Some say Molly even has a good influence on those who have post-traumatic stress disorder. Everyone loves Molly.
Others know a darker side of Molly. They say Molly just messes with your head, fries your brain, flat-lines your personality. Others say Molly can cause anxiety, paranoia, depression, fatigue, exhaustion and worse. They say she can cause dangerous dehydration, fevers and even suicidal ideation. They ask if Molly is so good for you, why are people acquainted with her checking into rehabs and brain injury centers with diagnoses of acquired brain injury?
“Molly,” a.k.a., MDMA, was known back in the ’90s as Ecstasy, or X for short. Whether in pill or powder form, it was a drug with the characteristics of both hallucinogens and amphetamines; it was a common feature at the hours-long dance parties they used to call “raves.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDMA “produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.” NIDA also says the difference between MDMA and Ecstasy is that Ecstasy was cut with the artificial opiate fentanyl, causing a “speedball”-like effect.
The era of the rave has pretty much passed into cultural history at this point, but MDMA is very much a thing of today. Twenty bucks is the general price for one dose of the bitter-tasting substance most typically found in capsule or powdered form.
“I spent the night with Molly” and other cheeky references plaster bathroom walls in graffiti and posters. (The drug’s nickname is derived from the term “molecular MDMA.”) Madonna reportedly recently questioned her audience: “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?” 2 Chainz calls Molly out in Nicki Minaj’s “Beez In the Trap.” Childish Gambino in his song “Unnecessary,” hollers out at her; Kanye West in “Mercy” and Danny Brown in “Die Like a Rockstar” both mention her by name.
According to NIDA, MDMA’s effects last approximately three to six hours, although it is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the first begins to fade.
MDMA can induce euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others, diminished anxiety, and mild psychedelia. Many studies, particularly in the fields of psychology and cognitive therapy, have suggested MDMA has therapeutic benefits and facilitates therapy sessions in certain individuals, a practice for which it had been formally used in the past. Clinical trials are now testing the therapeutic potential of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety associated with terminal cancer and addiction.
It is commonly taken in combination with other drugs. Some report using MDMA as part of a multiple-drug experience that includes cocaine, GHB, methamphetamine, ketamine, and the erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra). The combination has been said to be deadly.
Dead at 20
Eileen Kennedy of Saugerties just lost her 20 year-old nephew to MDMA in July. “Brian” (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) was a university student, playing three or four different sports, good grades and a wide open future in front of him when he went out one night with a few friends to a dance club and popped a few Mollies.
Kennedy described Brian and his friends as “regular, everyday kids”, insisting that regular drug use was not their norm. The coroner determined the MDMA was cut with something. “They are thinking it was some kind of rat poison,” explained Kennedy.
Kennedy said Brian’s friends said they were dancing at the rave on the drug but Brian “got wild” and started drinking large amounts of water — a typical scenario for someone on MDMA since it creates dehydration. Friends reported that Brian started swinging his arms violently until the rave’s bouncers tossed him out. Brian went missing for five hours. “We are not sure how we got to the ambulance,” said a bereft Kennedy. “He was missing a shoe, and was dirty.” Kennedy was especially struck by the fact that her nephew was hospitalized under the name “Jon Doe” until one of his friends got involved.
Brian was admitted with a temperature of 107, requiring a respirator. Ultimately his breathing stopped. “Blood clots made his heart stop, possibly from rat poison and his blood pressure dropped,” explained Kennedy. “This kid is 6’2”. He is a baseball and football player.” Kennedy recalled the Staten Island funeral director said he buried 15 kids under the age of 30 from Mollies since January.
“His life was wasted,” said Kennedy. “He was going somewhere. His life was wasted on one night. I know he was planning to just have a good time. That was it. There’s no need to die over it. Going out for a couple hours and people come home.”
‘In love with everything’
Parents are infuriated with the ex-Disney celebrity phenom Miley Cyrus for asking the legions of tween listeners if they were “dancing with Molly.”
But “Cheryl” (name changed upon request) of Lake Katrine was not too inhibited to admit she does the occasional Mollie and summed it up like this, using words reminiscent of the 1960s LSD craze: “It feels like you’re in love with everything. You have a smile on your face you can’t stop. All your senses are very heightened. Everything you touch feels so soft and inviting. Anything that touches you feels luxurious and orgasmic. It’s like you are in a haze of happiness. … Everything just felt so good and new.”