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What Does Molly Do To You?

Who is Molly and what can she do to you? The street name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) has been coined “Molly”. Molly is notorious as a rave drug taken at concerts, night clubs, and music festivals to modify perceptions and shift mental states. Many people try Molly in these settings because the drug has the power to assist users to let loose, connect with others, and dance all night. However, many users are unaware of the consequences of MDMA during and after drug use.

History of MDMA, Ecstasy, and Molly

MDMA was first developed in 1912 by a German pharmaceutical company attempting to create an appetite suppressant, but this chemical component of Molly (MDMA) was not put to use until the 1970s for its stimulant and hallucinogenic effect. However, even in the 1970s, Molly use was dominantly not recreational. Psychiatrists started using the drug to augment therapy treatment. The medical reasoning was based on the belief that it improved patients’ communication and insight. Molly has been around the block for years but was commonly referred to as ecstasy in the 1970s and 1980s.

Even though the base chemical for both ecstasy and Molly is allegedly the same, the substances have slight distinctions. The main difference is that the term Molly, abbreviated for “molecular,” was a rebranding of ecstasy introduced in the 2000s after ecstasy developed a poor reputation of impurity. Impurity can result when the substance is cut with other toxic substances. While ecstasy was used as a therapeutic drug, it was not until later that its use trickled down as a recreational drug. In the 1990s, Molly became an integral part of the heightened rave culture of the 1990s. In fact, MDMA was a legal substance until 1985, when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moved the substance to Schedule I. Schedule I drugs are illegal and have no legitimate medical uses.

The Risk of Other Drugs Found In Molly

However, Molly is supposedly “pure” MDMA, but rarely ever approaches that purity. For example, a report from New York where 143 street-bought lab tests of drugs sold as Molly showed that only 13 percent of the drugs had MDMA, while over 60 percent were bath salts. A Drug Enforcement Administration Official warned that “Molly could be anything … 80 to 90 percent of the time we are given a chemical or substance believed to be Molly, we’re finding most of the time it is something completely different.” This DEA sampling may not be the most representative but is sufficient as these are similar results to such street surveys done in San Francisco in the late 1990s.

Thus, many people mistakenly use the term Molly to refer to a believed pure form of MDMA, while reserving the term ecstasy for tablets thought more likely to be cut with other synthetic substances. As mentioned, many of the powders sold on the street as “pure” MDMA often contain other drugs and ingredients. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Research, much of the MDMA seized by police contains other substances including:

  • Ketamine
  • PCP
  • DXM
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”)
  • Ephedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Caffeine
  • Various over-the-counter (OTCs) medications

The Short Term Effects of Molly

Now the important question, what can Molly do to you? The chemical makeup of MDMA contributes to the behavior of a stimulant and hallucinogen. Due to the chemical similarity of both stimulants and hallucinogens, Molly has the ability to produce feelings of intense energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. Since Molly distorts the user’s sensory perceptions, visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation are affected. Some potential short-term side effects of MDMA that may occur while one is under the influence include:

  • Anxiety and/or paranoia
  • Sleeplessness
  • Muscle cramps and tension
  • Elevated blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, and heart rate
  • Severe dehydration (especially when mixed with alcohol)
  • Cold chills
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vertigo/fainting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Teeth clenching (involuntary)

Withdrawal From Molly

When Molly wears off, the euphoria, happy emotions, and limitless connection rapidly diminish and leave the user feeling darker and more depressed than they were before the drug use. This phenomenon is referred to as “Suicide Tuesday”. However, it is more likely that the symptoms endure longer than a day and can last for a week or longer for some users. Withdrawal or “comedown” symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Cognitive problems
  • Memory issues
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of libido
  • Depression

Long Term Effects of Molly

There are many long-term risks associated with prolonged or frequent use of Molly. With just one dose of Molly, several neurotransmitter systems are affected. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the associated surge in serotonin activity is thought to underlie a temporary elevation in mood, a heightened sense of perception, and more empathy toward others. Consequently, as Molly wears off, serotonin activity decreases, and levels are then depleted. This temporary drop of active serotonin may be the cause of any post-MDMA depression. Other potentially persistent adverse effects of MDMA include sleep problems, severe anxiety, paranoia, confusion, cognition and memory problems, and death.

Overall, “party drugs” such as Molly can be permanently harmful; even fatal. A few hours of fun with Molly will not be fun in the future. We know Molly, what she is capable of, and what she can do to you. Our advice, stay clear of her and seek treatment if necessary.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to Molly, the team at Boardwalk Recovery Center can help. Call us now for a free consultation and overview of the ways that our medical staff and comprehensive treatment program can help achieve long term recovery.

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