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Experts: People Who Think They Are Taking “Molly” Don’t Know What They’re Getting


People who take “Molly,” the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in Ecstasy, don’t know what they are actually ingesting, experts say. They warn many powders sold as Molly do not contain any MDMA.

“Anyone can call something Molly to try to make it sound less harmful,” Rusty Payne, an agent at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) national office, told The New York Times. “But it can be anything.” The DEA considers MDMA to be a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse, and no accepted use in medical treatment.

Dr. John Halpern, a psychiatrist at Harvard who has conducted several MDMA studies, said some powders sold as Molly are synthetic versions that are designed to imitate the drug’s effects. The drug is now thought to be as adulterated as Ecstasy once was, he noted, adding, “You’re fooling yourself if you think it’s somehow safer because it’s sold in powdered form.”

Molly has been a popular drug at music festivals. It has also been popularized by rappers. The drug costs between $20 and $50 a dose.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says he now sees about four patients a month who come in with common side effects of Molly, including teeth grinding, dehydration, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite and fever. More serious side effects can include uncontrollable seizures, high blood pressure, elevated body temperature and depression, the article notes.

“Typically in the past we’d see rave kids, but now we’re seeing more people into their 30s and 40s experimenting with it,” he told the newspaper. “MDMA use has increased dramatically. It’s really a global phenomenon now.”

According to the national Drug Abuse Warning Network, MDMA-related emergency department visits increased from 10,227 in 2004 to 22,498 in 2011.

8 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of jeremy ein
    jeremy ein / September 27, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I just found out that 1of my five kids experimented with “MOLLY” (MDMA) he swears he has only done it once or twice I own that house that has the bunch of kids in it at most any given time he said the went to a friends house to do it but I imagine. That it is not just a 2-3 hour “buzz” so I told him I was extremely disappointed not just for being hi around your younger brother but also for doing the drug in the first place without talking to me first we have a very open and honest relationship I am very proud to say anybody have any suggestions on what action I shod take now!?!?!?
    HELP PLZZZzzzz

  2. Avatar of Nicole
    Nicole / June 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    It about time the experts began to address the phenomena… When children boasts about having a kiddie Crack, it’s a very sad day. They truly don’t know what they are into and shame on US for taking so long to address this! Thanks Join Together for an outstanding article!

  3. Jane Maxwell / June 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    correct 5,`48 to 5,148.

  4. Jane Maxwell / June 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    What is missing from this article (and the NYTimes article) is that the purity of MDMA pills/capsules is down and the number of items analyzed by forensic labs across the US (NFLIS) are down. According to, the proportion of pills containing only MDMA has dropped from 50% in 2001 to 23% in 2013 and the number of seized exhibits that are MDMA has dropped from 21,790 in 2006 to 5,`48 in 2012. Because of the shortage of pure MDMA, we’re seeing a return of some of the old drugs created to mimic MDMA in the 1980s and also seeing the side effects when the Molly isn’t what Molly is sold as

  5. Avatar of kstn
    kstn / October 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Molly is extremely dangerous. Speaking from firsthand experience, when taken in liberal quantities, it can sometimes take days for all of the effects to wear off. I used an excessive amount one new year’s eve and it took 6 days for the depression, chills, aches, etc to subside. Every moment of the comedown was horrifying and I kept waiting for it to end like a hangover, but it just wasn’t like that. I didn’t sleep for probably 3 days. There could be any number of other drugs mixed in with “molly”, you never really know what you are getting. I found out the hard way that mine was loaded with amphetamine as well. Kids think drugs are fun. Until they’re not. And unfortunately for them to learn their lesson, they sometimes have to have a really bad experience for the gravity of it to really sink in. Let him watch Requiem for a Dream.

  6. Avatar of Rae
    Rae / December 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I understand what you mean but it’s not good to encourage others to smoke weed. Yes it is real but it’s still illegal in most cases.

  7. Avatar of Mischief
    Mischief / March 10, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    This is the problem with street drugs. MDMA is a 8-12 hour high followed by a crash period of about 24 hours max. Who knows what you took. When it was legal..back in the 70s none of these reports/situations were happening. Now that the general public knows about it..people have been sending out trash..resulting in ER visits. Took gallons of it way back when. the hangover was a nice relaxing, just chill out feeling. Very pleasant. The only side effect seen then was really bad teeth grinding and isolated vomiting in some folks.
    The same thing happened to Quaaludes. By the end of the 70′s boots were showing up with all kinds of crap in them. One seemed to have Thorazine in it. It’s ok to describe drug effects, but unless the stuff is chemically tested..Who knows what the F*** it is. That’s why using drugs is a crap shoot. Buyer Beware.

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