Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Recently, I met wih a group of parents concerned about a 'new' drug in their area. The street name for the drug is 'Molly'. Their children spoke about it as if it were "not all that bad - and at least it wasn't cocaine." Well, they were right about one thing - it is not cocaine. But it is a dangerous drug when taken for recreational use. Molly is MDMA - or Ecstacy. It is both an amphetamine and phenethylamine. That means it gets your heart speeding, reduces some anxiety and makes you feel a sense of intimacy with people around you. For many years it has been a Club Drug used to enhance sexual feelings. Although the drug is banned in numerous countries, there is a body of research studying possible low dose use of the drug in psychotherapy. That aside, there is an even more striking fact about the sale of this drug in the U.S. Obviously, it is not regulated by the FDA, so anyone selling or manufacutring the drug can add adulterants or additives to extend the amount. In many cases talcum powder or ibuprofen (among other things)is added to Molly. This makes more money for the drug dealer. So it is in his or her best interest to add substances that look like the white powder and/or can be formed into a pill. The problem is that no one knows what the mixture contains. In some cases there is no MDMA at all, but a drug called PMA which has been associated with many deaths. At first use, the user may experience a heightened sense of euphoria, hallucinations and disorientaion. They also feel jaw tension and may exhibit convulsions. The drug reaches its peak in 1.5 - 3 hours after use. But long after the drug has peaked it remains in the system. If another dose it taken tolerance is developed and the brain struggles with the way seratonin needs to be regulated. The bottom line is this - Molly, MDMA, is a dangerous drug. Until proven otherwise, it is not safe to use. Tell your teens that it may not be cocaine, but it may do irreversible damage to the brain, and prolonged use may lead to death.