“Molly,” the club drug suspected of causing two deaths this weekend at a New York City music festival, can be dangerous for casual users, experts say. They note it is hard for a person using the drug to detect when they are about to overdose.
The drug, a more pure form of Ecstasy, comes in a powder. It has been available for decades, but has become more popular recently with college students, NBC News reports. Mentions of the drug by music stars including Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West have increased its appeal.
Molly’s health risks can include involuntary teeth clenching, a loss of inhibitions, transfixion on sights and sounds, nausea, blurred vision and chills and/or sweating. More serious risks of the drug, also called MDMA, can include increased heart rate and blood pressure and seizures.
“The early signs of intoxication going over toward overdose of MDMA, of Molly, is going to be high heart rate, high respiratory rate and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Meika Roberson of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “So if you’re in a club scene, you’re not feeling any of that.”
Last week, a 19-year-old girl in Boston died of a suspected overdose of Molly following a concert. In June, a man in Washington state died after taking the drug, and dozens more were treated for Molly overdoses.