Madonna, the pop star who seems to have been around since the dinosaurs, courted some pretty severe controversy when she started to ask the entire crowd at the 2013 Miami Ultra Music Festival, if they had seen “Molly”? “How many people in the crowd have seen Molly?” Madonna was referring to about the song “Have You Seen Molly?” by Cedric Gervais, however “Molly” is also a nickname for the drug MDMA – a form of Ecstasy. Madonna then found herself in a little bit of a tight spot with the press, having to defend herself in her corner, stating that “I don’t support drug use and I never have.”
Obviously it is good to hear a famous star like Madonna not vouch for the use of recreational drugs – especially one as potent and potentially dangerous as MDMA. A manmade drug, a bit like methamphetamine, it is a regular drug for people who go to raves and clubs, and almost makes you feel as if you are elevated, and have no worries in the world. However, claims that MDMA and similar are completely safe is nonsense – here are some of the real facts about “Molly”;
MDMA is not always what it says on the tin – It is a drug made by combining a series of chemicals, and comes in a pill or tablet form, usually with a silly drawing on the pill to let you know what you are getting into. These pills can be mixed with anything – you hear too many stories of Hashish being combined with plastic and tires, as well as Cocaine being mixed with talcum powder and the like – MDMA is no different, it can be mixed with anything, so beware. A recent trend has been for the drug to be laced with PMMA.
It makes you feel completely different too, it makes you feel hyperactive, but it can also cause some serious problem for you – increased heart rate, nausea, blurry vision, cramps and even potentially hypothermia and if you are super unlucky, it can even kill you, depending on the reaction the chemicals have with your body.
It has been claimed that MDMA can cause a manic episode in some people with bipolar disorder. This is because the drug increases serotonin levels. Once the effects of the drug start start to wear off, low serotonin levels may bring on depression. MDMA can cause bouts of serious depression, due to withdrawal problems, it can give you memory problems, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, and this can last for a long time depending on how often you use MDMA.
The flip side of this is that, in 2022, scientists are now looking at MDMA as a possible treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A 2021 study appearing in Nature Medicine described the treatment as “highly efficacious in individuals with severe PTSD,” and its authors suggested that “MDMA-assisted therapy represents a potential breakthrough treatment that merits expedited clinical evaluation.”
It’s a powerful drug, and fatal in a large doses. A study using animals shows that heavy MDMA exposure for any more than just four days can cause serious brain damage that still causes you problems up to seven years down the line.
Since 2004, the amount of people rushed to A&E or taken to Hospital with Ecstasy/MDMA related problems has increased by a worrying 123%.
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Photo by DEA.
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This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated since.