Drug 'Molly' is taking a party toll in the United States

Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:25am EDT
 
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By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Artist and therapy student Anna and her friends marked a birthday in New York recently with a familiar ritual: They pumped up the electronic music, danced, and celebrated with a special guest called Molly.

"It was a group of about 12 people at someone's house and we were all just celebrating," Anna recalled. "Somebody had it and, and you know, it was a pretty electronic music kind of crowd."

Molly, an illegal stimulant frequently sold in pill form, has become prominent in the electronic music scene over the past decade, said Anna, 26, who did not want to give her full name because she is in school and "counseling people to be healthy."

Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. In the last five years, Molly has made its way into popular culture, helped by references to it made by entertainers such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.

The drug's dangers became more clear after a rash of overdoses and four deaths this summer, including two at a huge annual electronic music festival in New York City.

The parties of the late 1980s and early '90s saw the heyday of ecstasy, but its popularity began to wane a decade ago after a number of deaths and hospitalizations.

That's when Molly made her way onto the scene.

Over the last few years, drugs sold under that name have "flooded" the market, said Rusty Payne, a spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration.   Continued...

 
Ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical, are pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). REUTERS/U.S. DEA/Handout via Reuters