What Is Molly And Why Are Some Teenagers Hooked On It?


Its name may sound innocent, but make no mistake about it. Molly is not a teenage kid that you want your son or your daughter be hanging around with. In fact, when you hear from your kids that they enjoyed last night’s party with Molly, you should already be concerned.

Who is Molly?

The more accurate question is: What is Molly? Commonly known in parties and raves, Molly is a loose term for Ecstasy, the deadly synthetic drug that can alter the mood and perception of users.

Its chemical name is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA. Its other street names include: E, XTC, X, Adam, Hug, Beans, Clarity, Lover’s Speed, and Love Drug.

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The drug causes an effect similar to what users experience when they use amphetamines, and produces psychedelic effects found in LSD. It is considered a club drug or party drug as it is very commonly used by people who frequent parties, music festivals and concerts.

MDMA falls under Schedule I based on stipulations in the Controlled Substances Act, which means that the drug has no known medical benefit and has a high potential for abuse. However, there is an ongoing research on the possibility that this drug might be helpful in treating patients who have terminal cancer and anxiety.

How Molly Is Used

Molly is commonly found in the form of capsules or tablets. These pills are produced in various colors and sometimes have cartoon images on them. Some people would take more than one pill.

The name Molly is short for molecular, which refers to the crystalline powder form of MDMA sold in capsules. The effect of this substance usually lasts from three to six hours. Once the user feels that the effect is slowly diminishing, a second dose usually follows.

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Approximately 45 minutes after ingestion, the user may feel a “euphoric high,” together with uncontrolled movements or hyperactivity. There is also an increase in self-esteem, enhanced communication and an increase in self-insight.

Several reports in the past mentioned that some Ecstasy pills sold in the market contain other harmful and deadly substances. It was found out that drugs sold as MDMA pills do not actually contain MDMA. Most often, these substances mixed with or replaced with other chemicals such as amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, dextromethorphan or PCP.

MDMA and the Brain

It takes about 15 minutes for MDMA to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. The effect of MDMA is caused by the increase in activity of three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

  • Serotonin controls our sleep, pain and sexual activity. The increase in serotonin causes a person to be hyperactive. It may also cause heightened tactile sensation. This is also responsible for the release of oxytocin, which affects the feeling of being sexually aroused.
  • Dopamine causes an emotional upsurge such as feelings of joy and pleasure, as well as an increase in energy.
  • Norepinephrine is responsible for the increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Side effects of MDMA

MDMA users may experience the following symptoms after ingestion of the drug:

  • Agitation
  • Profuse sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Dizzy spells
  • Chills
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Teeth clenching
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Blurred vision
  • Faintness
  • Sweating
  • Higher body temperature (may lead to serious heart, liver, or kidney problems)
  • Increased risk for unsafe sex
  • Distorted perception
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Muscle cramping
  • Severe muscle breakdown
  • Nausea
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucination
  • Memory reduction

Once the effect of MDMA diminishes, the decrease in serotonin causes the user to go through a state of depression, confusion, sleeping disorder, anxiety and drug craving.

The effect on long term use of the drug has not yet been proven to completely damage the brain. However, it has been noticed that those who slowly gave up on using the drug exhibited signs of depression and confusion, as well as poor memory and attention.

When taken in large doses, Ecstasy can pose serious threats to the user. The same can be said when small frequent doses are consumed to maintain the “euphoric high” that it gives to the user.

When high doses of MDMA are taken, it may lead to a high risk of experiencing seizures and losing the ability to maintain the normal rhythm of the heart.

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Signs of Molly Addiction

According to research, the neurotransmitters targeted by MDMA are the same ones affected by other commonly abused drugs, leading users to have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Here are some of the common signs that a person is addicted to Molly or MDMA:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual behavior
  • Sleeplessness

Ecstasy Statistics Overview

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2014 revealed the following data about Ecstasy:

  • Nearly 7 percent of those aged 12 and older had used Ecstasy at least once in their lifetime.
  • Nearly 1 percent of the same population had used it within the past year.
  • About 0.2 percent had used Ecstasy within the past month.
  • Ecstasy use has remained relatively steady in the general population since 2009, with a gradual decline among adolescents. In 2013, more than 750,000 persons aged 12 or older reported using ecstasy for the first time.

Here are some statistics of Ecstasy use among adolescents (aged 12-17):

  • Roughly 0.7 percent of adolescents reported taking Ecstasy in the past year.
  • About 1.2 percent of adolescents had taken Ecstasy at least once in their lives.
  • About 0.2 percent of adolescents reported using Ecstasy in the previous month.

Young adolescents (aged 18-25) exhibited the following stats for the drug:

  • 5 percent reported using the drug in the previous year.
  • 12 percent of young adults reported using Ecstasy at least once in their lifetime.
  • About 1 percent were current Ecstasy users.

Meanwhile, among adults (aged 26 and above):

  • 5 percent of adults reported using the substance within the past year.
  • 4 percent of adults aged 26 and above reported using Ecstasy at least once in their lifetime.
  • 1 percent of adults were current users.

There were close to 22,500 emergency room visits recorded on the year that the survey was conducted. Majority of these individuals were aged 28-29 years old, and about 70 percent were male.

Is Ecstasy Deadly?

The increased release of the neurotransmitters may cause an increase in the body temperature of an individual who uses Molly or Ecstasy. When the body could not regulate the temperature, it may cause organ failure and eventually death.

Severe Ecstasy-related Illnesses

Abuse of Ecstasy may cause or increase the likelihood of the following illnesses:

  • Seizure
  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Metabolic disturbance
  • Hyperthermia
  • Brain Swelling

Most Common Causes of Ecstasy Deaths

The following are the causes of death by Ecstasy users:

  • Hyponatremia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Ecstasy-induced depression (suicidal incidents)

The Warning Signs That A Teen May Be Using Ecstasy

It’s unfortunate to know that parents would be the last to know about their children being hooked on drugs. Whether the parents are too busy with their jobs or they’re not as observant as they should be, their teenage kids may get away with taking the drugs especially in the company of friends.

Here are a few signs to help parents know if their children may be having some issues with regards to drug use, particularly Molly or Ecstasy:

  • Goes to parties often and comes home early morning the next day.
  • Increased number of absences in school.
  • Easily gets irritated.
  • May feel the need to use baby pacifiers to eliminate discomfort due to uncontrollable clenching of teeth.
  • Experiences sleeping problems.
  • For the parents to not notice the pills, these teen users would place the pills inside vitamin bottles to hide them.
  • Chewing or eating soft candies more often than usual. In this case, the teen user may roll the pill inside the candy.

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Dealing with a Teen (Ecstasy) User

Just like any person during this stage of human life, practically everyone goes through episodes of curiosity, most evidently during adolescence. In the ‘70s, it was crack that was proliferating in the streets. These days, Ecstasy has made its way to the limelight. At a price between $8 and $25 a pill, teens buy more of it because it does not cost as much as other drugs.

The effect of having the unusual high may give teens the feeling of being free and somehow detached from the world. Whether they are trying to escape from their own problems or just forced to take them because most kids in school are using them, the result will always be the same: deteriorating health that can lead to death.

Here are the top reasons why teens try alcohol and drugs, based on several studies in the past:

  1. About 47 percent of teens agreed that they have been influenced by the movies where drug use and distribution are shown. They think that drug use is something “cool” and okay.
  2. Teens say that they often see people around them getting involved with smoking, drinking alcohol or using other substances.
  3. They may find drugs and/or alcohol as their companion during times of sorrow. Depending on the kind of drug that they use, they would instantly feel a different kind of uncontrollable emotion.
  4. Some teens may just have too many things to think about that not having an outlet may let them feel like they are about to explode. As a solution, they turn to drugs and/or alcohol to keep them occupied.
  5. Angry teenagers would turn to different kinds of addiction to spite their parents as a means of rebellion against them. Using methamphetamine would produce an aggressive behavior, and this lets teenagers become aggressive and uncontrollable. Meanwhile, using LSD and marijuana may lead them to be more silent than normal.
  6. The teen may feel the need to take drugs or alcohol as a form of gratification because they feel good once they take the substance, especially in large amounts.
  7. Some teens who lack self-confidence may use these substances for them to easily express themselves.
  8. There are instances when just plain curiosity would drive teens to become habitual users because they were misinformed about the dangers of what these substances may bring.

How Can Ecstasy Use Be Avoided?

It may be difficult to keep watch of our children all the time. Besides, they also need to learn independence. However, the key to how we could best prevent our children from getting hooked on any substance is to provide the right information regarding the dangers.

In addition, we should learn to have an open communication with our children so that they would turn to us if they have problems, instead of turning to their friends who may just lead them into taking the illegal substances.

We may not have a hold on the behavior of other people that our children meet every day. However, if the children grow up having the proper knowledge and living with a very loving family, substance abuse may never be a problem.

Treatment for MDMA Abuse

There is no specific kind of treatment for MDMA unlike other abused substances. The therapy provided to recovering MDMA abusers is cognitive behavioral intervention, which helps the patient cope with the right thinking and reaction to the surrounding environment.

The long-term effects of MDMA abuse may cause the user to have problems with regards to memory and recognition. Therapy sessions to restore proper brain function may take weeks to several months.

Apart from the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist, the family plays an important role in the success of the treatment. The family’s support should be a source of strength for recovering drug users for them to be able to live normal and much healthier lives.

Pass it on. Help a friend or a loved one.

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