Recent social media posts have focused on the side effects of Molly, an MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) drug similar to ecstasy that has become increasingly popular among college students over the past year.
In contrast to ecstasy, which usually comes in a pill form, Molly often comes in a capsule, but can also be found in pills and tablets, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA also reports that Molly can have damaging effects on the brain and cause depression.
“It’s the only drug that will connect different parts of your brain. You connect senses you shouldn’t have connected in the first place,” said Kirk Morris, a sophomore residing in Fraternity Village. “[When taking Molly] you can feel the color, taste the touch.”
The first time Morris tried Molly he was 14. He grew up in Detroit, and moved to Kalamazoo after he received a scholarship from WMU.
“It’s a very profitable drug, especially in colleges,” said Morris, who explains that he can purchase Molly in bulk back home in Detroit, and sell it for up to three times more to WMU students in Kalamazoo.
Morris said one capsule of Molly usually weighs a tenth of a gram, and each capsule is priced anywhere from eight to eleven dollars in the Kalamazoo area. Morris said popular music such as dub step has made “everyone want the drug.”
“You feel bulletproof,” said Morris.
Morris was able to cover most of his college expenses with the scholarship he receives from WMU, but paid the remaining balance through profits he has made through selling drugs such as Molly.
“I don’t want to try it,” said Rachel Graf, a special education major at WMU. “I would be scared of what would happen, and I have heard bad things about it. “
Tom Blackmon, director of the University Substance Abuse Clinic on Oakland drive, said the clinic has not had any students mention Molly when they come in for treatment, which Blackmon thinks is surprising. He added that the drug has been around for a while, and it can impose unexpected experiences and side effects to those who try the drug.
“It’s an unknown drug, you don’t know what it has been mixed with,” Blackmon said. “There is no guarantee of what you get, and it can be cut with other dangerous drugs. It’s like a gamble.”
The Substance Abuse Clinic on Oakland drive has no records of how many WMU students have reported use of Molly.
Long term effects of Molly are known to be confusion, sleep abnormalities and memory loss, especially if combined with other drugs such as Marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website (drugabuse.org). The website also reports that heavy use of Molly can cause unregulated temperatures in the body, which can have damaging physical effects and has in some cases been a cause of death for Molly users.
The Miami Herald reported on the increased use of Molly earlier this year, and reported that local police started to investigate the drug ever since Madonna made a comment during the Ultra Music Festival in 2012, when she asked the crowd “How many of you have seen Molly?”