I first heard of Molly in my therapy office about 3.5 years ago. A teenage girl came in for counseling because she was having trouble getting along with her mom. During one session she told me she planned to use Molly that night at a party. I was confused about which drug she was referring to. She told me is was like Ecstasy. I asked her if it was in fact another name for Ecstasy, and she told me no. I went home and did some basic research.
What I found out is that Molly is very much like Ecstasy because it is made from MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). However, Molly is supposed to be a more purified form of the drug. Both drugs produce approximately the same result. Essentially, they are reported to cause mild hallucinations, distortion in perception, an increase in energy, and for a person to really enjoy being touchy-feely.
Just like Ecstasy, there are extreme risks with Molly. One of the problems with lost perception is trouble reading the cues your body sends you. People have been known to become extremely, and oftentimes dangerously, dehydrated on these drugs. This is because they lose track of time, and simply forget to drink water. If they are in an all night party where they are dancing, and therefore sweating, it is really important to drink fluids. However, they completely forget.
Another big risk with Molly, and Ecstasy is their effect on the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Some people have spiked extreme fevers, and end up frying their vital organs. This is what is reportedly happened to several students from the Connecticut college a year ago (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wesleyan-overdoses-highlight-risks-of-drug-molly/).
Molly and Ecstasy are also linked to unsafe sexual behaviors. It makes people enjoy physical touch more than they might otherwise, leading them into sexual encounters they would never have if they were sober. They might become sexual with a stranger, and the sex is often unsafe. Molly has been linked with the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
One of the most scary things about Molly in particular is that it is often cut with other chemicals and substances. It might include heroin, or something random. Because it’s an illegal drug, it’s completely unregulated. So, while your teenager might think they are buying high quality MDMA, there is a good chance they are poisoning themselves.
Unfortunately your high school aged student has either seen people taking this, taken it themselves, or knows someone who has abused it. It is very popular and very common right now. For parents there is always something new to keep abreast of, and right now Molly is one of those things. Ask your teenager what they know about the drug, and do your own research. Help them understand it’s not something to mess with because the consequences have rendered some adolescents permanently disabled, and others dead.
Helping teens grow and families improve connection,
Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT