In just a few days time, from March 28th to 30th, the Ultra Music Festival will take place in Miami, doubtless attracting great numbers of enthusiastic concertgoers to see a 2014 line-up including such major acts as Avicii, Tiesto, David Guetta, Afrojack and Nicky Romero. There is also, however, likely to be an infinitely less welcome guest in attendance, albeit one with a friendly face from the perspective of the many adolescents and young adults who may consequently find themselves in need of tailored drug abuse treatment in Florida.
That guest goes by the name of molly, and she is a dangerous friend indeed, given that this is actually the widely used name for MDMA or 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine in its powder or crystal form. Most people know this chemical drug from the pressed pill Ecstasy, but whereas Ecstasy is frequently laced with other substances like methamphetamine and caffeine, the term molly – shortened from ‘molecule’ – tends to refer to ‘pure’ MDMA.
Not only does the substance have no accepted medical purpose, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), but there is also great scope for abuse of this illegal Schedule 1 controlled drug. Nor is it a stranger to the music festival-going crowds, with news agencies reporting that ‘molly’ was a frequent subject of conversation at the 2012 Miami Ultra Music Festival, fliers even mentioning the name as if they had been seeking a missing child. Last year saw the cancellation of the third and final day of the Electric Zoo music festival in New York, following the deaths of two concertgoers and at least four other hospitalizations that police believed to be caused by MDMA.
‘Molly’ was even referred to by name at the Ultra Music Festival two years ago by Madonna as she introduced an artist on stage. Her question “How many people in this crowd have seen molly?” drew cheers from the audience, which should alert any parent wishing to avoiding their child ever requiring drug abuse treatment in Florida – even if Madonna later denied that she was referring to an illegal substance. Nonetheless, the recurrent mentions of molly in the songs of such artists as Miley Cyrus, Danny Brown and Nicki Minaj points to a widespread awareness of the drug among both artists and their fans.
Parents concerned about the potential requirement for drug abuse treatment in Florida for their child at some point in future have every reason to be fearful of a substance characterized by a bitter taste, followed by a euphoric high. It can be inhaled or eaten, and consequences range from elevated heart rates and distorted thought processes to such much more serious side effects as hyperthermia, comas and cardiac episodes. These severe outcomes from the use of molly belie its widespread reputation among some users as a ‘safer’ drug.
With attitudes to and laws on drugs continuing to soften, the clearest means of prevention of abuse is clear: parents educating their children on the very real dangers of ‘molly’.