Molly is the colloquial name for the popular club drug MDMA, and implies a higher level of purity than ecstasy. It has been linked to five deaths at music events this summer, including one this past weekend at a Washington, D.C. nightclub.
Here & Now spoke with a doctor earlier this week who warned that molly can dangerously speed up the metabolism, leading to organ failure or heart attack in some cases. She said it can leave users feeling depressed after they come down from their euphoric highs, and she spoke of the longterm effects on the brain.
"Two out of three times that I've tested molly, it has turned out to be something other than what I thought it was."
Many people who commented on the segment thought the warnings were overblown.
One molly user, who didn't want to be identified out of fear he'll lose his teaching job, told Here & Now he has safely gotten high on molly for several years.
"I heard the interview the other day, and although everything that was said was accurate, I thought that it was missing a little bit of context. For example, although it's true that molly can cause dehydration or hyperthermia, the rate at which it is fatal is extremely low — depending on what studies you read," he said.
So what does the molly-using community make of the rash of molly-connected overdoses?
"Within the culture, those are largely dismissed, and I think it's a shame that they are because I think it does point to a real danger," he said. "The perception that molly, you can take as much as you want and still be safe, makes people take far more than they need to, and it also means that they're not being careful about testing things to make sure that that's what they actually have."
He tests drugs before he takes them, using a drug testing kit he bought online.
"I don't think that they're widely popular, simply because I don't think a lot of people know that they're available, and don't understand that they're really a necessity. For example, I think two out of three times that I've tested molly, it has turned out to be something other than what I thought it was."
This segment aired on September 6, 2013.
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