If you hear someone talk about hanging out “with Molly,” he or she may either really be hanging out with a friend named Molly or they can also be taking the drug MDMA (in the UK it is also referred to as “Mandy”). Unlike ecstasy, drugs that are called Molly are typically considered to be without any adulterants. Those who use recreational drugs like Molly use for the same reasons people use drugs like ecstasy—to feel ecstatic, open and loving energy.
The problem with all of these attractive feelings is the side effects. The side effects of Molly are serious and can land a user in critical condition or even death. News outlets have been reporting an increasing number of Molly-related deaths and injuries, especially among college students and other young adults. If you or a friend uses Molly, it’s important that you understand and recognize the side effects of a severe reaction to Molly sooner than later.
Side Effects to Look Out for
Common but not necessarily severe side effects include:
More serious side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Clenching of the jaw
- Grinding of the teeth
- Rise in body temperature
- Cramped muscles
Side effects indicative of a severe reaction include:
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Loss of consciousness
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
Understanding the Dangers
When users of Molly experience severe reactions to the drug, less serious side effects may also be present. Death due to the usage isn’t necessarily because of an overdose. As this article on DanceSafe discusses, the assertion that the recent deaths from Molly are overdoses is actually a dangerous one. The term “overdose” implies that a person took a dosage at a higher level than appropriate of a certain drug. Molly deaths, unlike deaths due to heroin overdose, for instance, are often not due to an actual overdose. Rather, a death because of Molly is typically because of a “bad batch,” which might mean that the pill contained something other than MDMA or for some other reason varied significantly from a normal dosage of Molly, or physical conditions in the user’s body either predating or caused by exposure to MDMA.
Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of a Molly-related death. Because Molly can raise a user’s body temperature, compounding additional factors like a crowded and hot audience at a concert; an extended period of time in a hot tub, sauna or the outdoors on a hot day; or even severe dehydration can tip the scale toward a fatal heatstroke for a user. When the media and officials refer to these deaths as overdoses, users of Molly might be tempted to think that they will be safe as long as they only take one pill. What people need to understand is that most users who die from Molly actually ingest an average amount of the drug. The variables that need to be monitored are the temperature, conditions, hydration levels (too much water can be deadly in combination with Molly as well as too little), pre-existing heart conditions and pre-existing anxiety conditions.
Keep these variables as well as all of the above side effects in mind if you are around a person who has taken Molly or if you take the drug yourself. By staying vigilantly aware of any adverse reaction to the drug, you'll decrease the chances that another life is lost because of MDMA.