Michael White, professor and department head from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, talks about the dangers associated with the party drug “Molly,” a form of ecstasy.
Here are some common questions about the drug with answers provided by White:
How prevalent is the use of ‘Molly’ or ecstasy in the United States?
MDMA is the chemical name for Molly and ecstasy. In a national survey, 14 percent of young adults reported using a drug for mood alteration without a prescription within the past year. That includes marijuana, opioids, heroine, benzodiazepines and MDMA containing products. In this survey, 24 percent of those who used a mood-altering drug (3 percent of young adults) reported MDMA use.
What are the adverse affects of MDMA?
For people with high blood pressure or heart disease (including congenital heart disease that they might not know about) they can get an arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke from the amphetamine-like response.
The drug actually generates body heat and makes it harder for the body to cool itself so there is a real risk of muscle breakdown called rhabdomyolysis which can result in muscle weakness and kidney failure when the tidal wave of iron from the muscle reached the kidneys. The drug can cause you to retain water and you are more thirsty for water, so death from diluting your blood sodium has also occurred.
Finally, like alcohol, it impairs judgment and muscle coordination so injuries in cars or due to falls are increased, people are more apt to be taken advantage of, and more likely to make bad lifestyle choices that can result in sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.
What can parents do to reduce the risk in young adults and kids?
Adolescents and young adults need to understand that taking a tablet from someone else that is supposed to be “Molly,” ecstasy or anything else is risky because you don’t know that it is not tainted with other ingredients which could be risky or toxic, how sensitive you are to the effects and whether the dose is similar to the last time you took it or not. Plus, while there aren’t many reported deaths, it doesn’t mean that they will not be at risk if they take it and that the risks could impact the rest of their lives.