What is Molly?

What is Molly? – Molly is a recreational “club drug” that traditionally contains a psychoactive substance known as MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.) Molly is essentially the powder/capsule form of MDMA, versus Ecstasy, which also includes MDMA but is more widely available in tablet form.

MDMA (Molly) is a synthetic drug that has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. There is still some debate as to whether MDMA should be classified as a hallucinogen with stimulant effects, vice versa, or a drug class entirely all of its own.

In any case, the desired effects of MDMA or Molly include feelings of high energy and euphoria, hallucinations, as well as increased extroversion, sociability, emotional warmth, empathy, and sexual desire.

But What is Molly, Really?

Although Molly is often touted as being “pure” MDMA and more potent than its counterpart Ecstasy, the reality is entirely different.

Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently stated that only about 13% of the Molly seized in New York, for example, actually contained MDMA. Even then, Molly frequently contains other drugs, including Methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, 4-MMC, MePP, and Pentedone.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that initially, tablet and powder forms of MDMA were 30-40% MDMA, while the rest of the substance including cutting agents to boost dealer profits. NIDA says that currently, Molly, as sold on the street, is probably even less pure, and can contain any number of synthetic and illicit drugs such as synthetic cathinones (bath salts), crystal meth, cocaine, ketamine (Special K), and over-the-counter medicines.

A Brief History of MDMA

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a German company, purportedly for use as an appetite suppressant. It was later employed in the psychiatric community in the 1970’s as an aid to psychotherapy.

As noted, MDMA is considered to be party or “club drug”, and indeed, it is probably the drug most synonymous with this designation. The drug’s popularity peaked in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, typically used among teenagers and young adults in large group social settings such as parties, raves, clubs, festivals, concerts, etc.

The DEA classifies MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that the drug has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and has no legitimate medical purpose.

How Molly Works

Molly affects three main brain neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals hijack the brain’s reward center and can cause dependence – a condition that results as the brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence and is unable to function correctly without it.

After Molly has been metabolized from a person’s system, an effect known as a “crash” is likely to follow – a condition caused by a marked drop in feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. This can result in psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and emotional withdrawal.

Side Effects of Molly

Short-term Side Effects of Molly include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
  • Increasing body temperature
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)

A Word on Overdose

Hyperthermia, in addition to dehydration, is one of the most dangerous complications of Molly abuse and can result in seizures, heart problems, heat stroke, and other life-threatening complications.

While overdoses are rare, they can and do happen – especially considering that drugs purchased as Molly probably actually contain other toxic substances. Also, many people who use Molly are also under the influence of other drugs or alcohol that can result in unpredictable effects and complications.

In January, A&E’s television series “Storm Chasers” co-star Joel Taylor died on a cruise ship. The cause was later revealed to be an overdose of MDMA, and also found were “traces” of ketamine in his system.

Long-term Side Effects of Molly

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Damage to liver and kidneys
  • Mood swings, depression, and anxiety
  • Apathy and dysphoria
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Increased aggression
  • Impaired attention and memory
  • Dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which also include fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

Treatment for Molly Addiction

Treatment for an addiction to Molly or MDMA should begin with a medical detox to rid the body of toxins in a supervised environment. Residential addiction treatment in our center should shortly follow for at least 30 days.

After discharge from inpatient treatment, clients are encouraged to participate in intensive outpatient treatment, which offers continued therapy and support while the client transitions back into society.

Both inpatient and outpatient formats make use of behavioral therapies, counseling, 12-step-programs, and activities complementary to treatment such as yoga, meditation, and music and art therapy.

Outpatients attend sessions at the center several times per week but live at a private residence or sober living home. During this phase of treatment, clients have the flexibility to attend work or school and interact with family, friends, and peers.

After addiction treatment at the center is completed, former patients can take advantage of our aftercare planning services and alumni activities.

Want to learn more about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

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