Who’s Molly?

SONY DSCMolly seems to be everywhere these days. She’s oh-so-crazy popular at concerts, teen parties, and club scenes. Though magnetically attractive, Molly is not a girl; it’s an illegal recreational drug that’s growing more dangerous by the day.

Here’s what WebMD has to say about Molly:

Between 5% and 7% of high-schoolers have tried what they thought was Molly, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Molly is frequently found at parties and concerts, and some bands have sung about it.

When it first came out, it was a pure form of a banned drug called MDMA or Ecstasy, which is known for producing feelings of euphoria and friendliness.

“The buzz about Molly is the result of widespread misconceptions about what the drug really is,” says David Sack, MD, an expert in addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine. “Teens think it is pure Ecstasy … and that it is somehow safe.”

Molly today is neither pure nor safe, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Molly can be pretty much anything,” says Special Agent Joseph Moses. “Molly is whatever the seller wants to say is Molly. In one region, only about 13% of the samples that were submitted to our lab that were supposedly MDMA contained any.”

Molly has been tied with a number of overdoses and deaths nationwide. Molly, or MDMA, has left people with severe muscle tension and seizures as well as dangerous overheating. It can lead to depression and anxiety that can last for days, and can even cause memory loss.

“Most of the time,” says Sack, “Molly is a mixture of any number of synthetic drugs, many of which are more dangerous and less predictable than MDMA.”

 So how can you inoculate your teen against this latest threat? While there’s no magic bullet guaranteed to keep  your child safe from Molly (or any other substance for that matter), ThePartnershipatDrugfree.org has some tips that can help.

First, remember that you, as a parent, have more influence over your child’s choices than their friends, TV, music, the internet, and celebrities combined. They will never tell you this, but it’s true. With that superpower in mind, a few simple steps go a long way …

  • Talk and listen. More, not less. Over and over again.
  • Know your child’s everyday world. You should be able to name his 5 closest friends. Bonus points if you’ve met their parents.
  • Be clear and explicit about not wanting him to use alcohol or drugs, and explain why.
  • Set limits. They won’t tell you this either, but they want rules and depend on you to stick to them.

The very first time I heard about Molly (short for molecule) was when I received a notice from Daughter’s college dean announcing the death of a young student after taking the drug at a local music festival. How tragic. How senseless. How can you not picture this young, smart girl heading out to a weekend of music and fun after the stress of midterms, and ending up dead after making one very bad decision?

It could have been my child … or yours. So talk talk talk and talk again. I did, that day, and I still do, even when my kids roll their eyes and insist, “I know, Mom!’

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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