Special Report: The Dangers of Molly


TYLER (KYTX)-You know of designer clothes that become the "It" brand of the moment. Well, it works the same way with designer drugs. "Molly" is ecstasy in pure form. CBS19's Jaime Gerik takes a look at this drug frequenting clubs, concerts, and music festivals to find out why it has such a strong following despite being linked to deaths.

"I was doing it like once a month, twice a month maybe," Doug, a man that uses Molly, said. Doug isn't his real name and he tells us he first tried the popular drug about 4 years ago.

"Pretty much curiosity and the fact it was just there for me to do," Doug said.

Doug, like many users, enjoys it before concerts, but he doesn't do it alone. At least 80% of his friends do Molly for the effects.

"Happy, euphoria, you know," Doug said.

Molly, or technically MDMA acts as a stimulant and a psychedelic, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It's supposed to be ecstasy in its pure form, but doctors say that's usually not what you get.

"The problem with all these drugs is that you don't know what's in them now. These new synthetic drugs are made with many chemicals, lots of them very harmful," Dr. Bryan Lowery, a family physician with Trinity Mother Frances, said.

Statistics back up the assumption that Molly commonly bought on the street is more than just Molly. Non-profit organization Dance Safe, which promotes healthy choices in the nightclub community, tested more than 300 pills sold around the world last year.

Of those, only 28% were pure MDMA and 32% didn't have MDMA in them at all.

"A lot of bad things can happen when you start confusing the chemical makeup of your brain," Lowery said.

Doctors say it's common to hear of dehydration, because users are downing Molly and lots of alcohol.

"You mix all those together, you're asking for a disaster," Lowery said.

From a physician's standpoint, the drug bearing the innocent name is anything but innocent. But a researcher in California hopes for a different conclusion.

"The safety of MDMA when pure and given in a controlled setting, is way different than the risk profile when given in a recreational setting," Rick Doblin, Executive Director of The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, said. 

He believes in small doses of Molly for therapeutic treatment. "It helps people take a look at what has been too fearful before," Doblin said. 

Specifically Doblin is talking about autistic adults, people with life-threatening illnesses, and veterans suffering from PTSD. 

"Taking the drug to have a drug experience, that's a little bit of a danger," Doblin said.

Since that danger isn't going away-- parents are encouraged to look for signs.

"No matter how much you try to tell them, they want to try something new. And you just really have to warn your kids and children," Doblin said.

Users like Doug say Molly is only a text away at a club or concert.  A single dose of a capsule or powder runs him $15-$20, but it's difficult to tell before you take it, if it's made with other drugs.  

The risk of Molly made headlines last year-- when two concertgoers died of overdoses over Labor Day weekend. The 20-year-old girl had confessed to EMS workers she had taken six hits of Molly-- before collapsing.


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