The popular New York City music festival Electric Zoo was cancelled on Sunday after two concert-goers overdosed and died while using the drug Molly. The deaths have prompted the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other health officials to better educate the public about the dangers of the drug, Medical Daily reported.
Molly is considered to be a “pure” form of the methamphetamine derivative MDMA, which is often mixed with other substances to create ecstasy. The drug has been linked to a growing number of casualties throughout the United States, as many users tend to disassociate it from other street drugs.
However, representatives for the DEA warn that Molly isn’t as “innocent” as most people believe it to be.
“There’s no ‘good batch’ of molly, MDMA, Ecstasy,” Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesman for the DEA New England division, told the Boston Herald. “This is stuff that’s made in somebody’s bathtub in either Asia, the Netherlands, Canada; you have no idea what is in this stuff. Dealers want to make more money, so they’ll mix and adulterate the stuff with meth and any number of other drugs to addict people to it.”
Molly lacks many of the adverse side effects associated with other illegal substances, possessing low addiction rates and few apparent withdrawal symptoms. However, users can experience devastating health effects if they continue to take the drug in higher and higher doses. Large amounts of Molly can lead to sharp increases in body temperature, resulting in rare instances of hyperthermia or liver, kidney or cardiovascular system failure.
Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University in New York City, told Medical Daily that the reason so many people continue to use Molly is because of ineffective scare tactics. Since many young individuals have already tried the drug without experiencing adverse complications, health officials need to focus on the rare events that can occur from taking the drug.
"What we've done and what we consistently do is we include people that exaggerate the harms," Hart told reporters. "Kids are not listening because they've already had the experience. ... They (think they) should reject everything we're saying because we're not being accurate, and they know it."