With the Ultra Music Festival less than two weeks away in Miami, why is this date important to know for an adult drug rehab blog to report on? Well actually it is very topical since it has been associated with extensive molly drug abuse by the concert goers.  And to top that off – during the last concert the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education published a federally funded study to find “some of the newly emerging and potentially dangerous new drugs popular in the [electronic dance music] community.”

Throughout the weekend they found some interesting data about drug intake and attendees’ knowledge of what they were actually taking. One interesting nugget of information was:

Of the 104 urine samples, more than 80 percent tested positive for a synthetic drug, most commonly known as molly

So why is that important. Well for one, very little is known about Molly and how dangerous it can be – especially among the adult population.

What is Molly?

The drug molly is the crystal or powder form of MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), a chemical used in the street drug ecstasy. Molly – short for “molecule” – has become the drug of choice for many concertgoers and festival attendees. It increases the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, causing users to experience feelings of energy, euphoria an empathy towards others. Molly also distorts vision, hearing and sense of time.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies molly as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means that the drug has a high potential for abuse and no accepted use in medical treatment. According to the DEA, molly can cause confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems and drug cravings. Molly also inhibits the body’s ability to regulate temperature, resulting in hyperthermia, or elevated (increased) body temperature.

Here are some stories of how dangerous molly can be

Fort Worth, Texas – A 21 year old Texas State student who died in October at the annual Austin City Limits Festival overdosed on molly after trying it for the first time, according to friends and family. The Texas student had a seizure on the sidewalk outside the concert after taking molly. The female student slipped into cardiac arrest and her body temperature rose to 106 degrees. For more than two days, she hemorrhaged from her nasal and oral passages and brain before her parents decided to take her off life support. Friends said she wasn’t a drug user and only took the drug once.

Very sadly, “once” was too much.

Middletown, Connecticut – Eleven students at Wesleyan University were hospitalized from molly overdose, officials stated. According to Wesleyan University –  two students were in critical condition, while the other two were in serious condition.

Molly is sometimes considered a “pure” form of MDMA and it often contains other drugs. In recent months, additional deaths of several young people have been linked to molly, according to toxicology reports one died from a fatal mix of MDMA and methylone and the second died from an overdose of methylone.

Methylone – is a compound commonly found in another street drug, “bath salts” – has properties and side effects similar to MDMA and, according to law enforcement officials, is often sold under the name molly. However, the toxicity of this drug may be higher than that of MDMA.

MDMA is taken orally, usually as a capsule or tablet. The popular term molly (slang for “molecular”) refers to the pure crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules. The drug’s effects last approximately 3-6 hours, although it is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. It is commonly taken in combination with other drugs. For example, some urban gay and bisexual men report using MDMA as part of a multiple-drug experience that includes cocaine, GHB, methamphetamine, ketamine, and the erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra).

MDMA and the brain
MDMA acts by increasing the activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The emotional and pro-social effects of MDMA are likely caused directly or indirectly by the release of large amounts of serotonin, which influences mood (as well as other functions such as appetite and sleep). Serotonin also triggers the release of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which play important roles in love, trust, sexual arousal, and other social experiences. This may account for the characteristic feelings of emotional closeness and empathy produced by the drug.

Additionally, the closeness-promoting effects of MDMA and its use in sexually charged contexts (especially in combination with sildenafil) may encourage unsafe sex, which is a risk factor for contracting or spreading HIV and hepatitis.

So now that you know more about molly, keep a close eye on the extracurricular developments outside of the Ultra Music Fest coming up.

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