The name may sound innocent, but there is much more to the drug Molly than meets the eye.
“I’m aware that it is very accessible to most students on campus who look for it,” said Joshua Magruder, staff counselor with The University of Mississippi Counseling Center. “I can’t speak directly to the numbers or anything, but qualitatively and through my experience at the counseling center, I know it’s readily available, and it’s out there.”
Formally known as MDMA, Molly is a purer form of ecstasy that’s gaining popularity in Oxford and at Ole Miss.
“I wouldn’t say it is the most prominent substance in Oxford by any means, but I would say that it is definitely a drug that has increased over the last five years,” said Keith Davis, captain of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit. “You know, it went from nonexistent and all of the sudden it hits the scene and it starts becoming kind of big. It’s starting to make a pretty big surge.”
Though Davis said there have been no reported deaths associated with Molly in Lafayette County, four recent deaths attributed to the drug have thrust it into the national spotlight.
According to Reuters, in the month of August alone, a student from the University of New Hampshire and one from the University of Virginia died after taking what they believed to be Molly, and two more people of college age died over the same time period.
The number of visits to United States emergency rooms involving MDMA has increased by 123 percent since 2004, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.
Davis predicts that well over 100 people in the Oxford community are currently using this drug. He went further, saying that the number continues to rise, especially among university students.
Morgan, a junior at Ole Miss who did not want to give her full name for fear of legal consequences, said she was 18 when she first tried Molly.
“I was at a concert, and my friends had it. We were wanting to have a good time, so we took some,” Morgan said. “It makes you feel really happy. You just really want to talk to everybody. You get energized, and everything is just awesome.”
Morgan said she had not heard about the deaths associated with Molly.
“I’ve never really thought about what it does to your brain, but I’m very cautious with it. I would never take more than the suggested dosage,” Morgan said.
Taking more than the recommended amount is what has led many admirers of Molly to their demise.
“You take about a tenth of a gram, which they put inside of a capsule. If you take more than two- to three-tenths at a time, it could possibly kill you,” Davis said. “The dealers are advising the people they are selling it to not to take more than that because it could kill them because of the purity factor of it.”
Although Molly is purer than ecstasy in chemical makeup, that does not mean it is less toxic to the human body.
“Neither one are safe,” Magruder said. “Molly actually has been proven to eat parts of the brain, quite literally, causing holes in your brain with extended use. That can result from ecstasy or the use of Molly.”
If the health risks aren’t enough, consider this –– Molly is what the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies as a Schedule I controlled substance. Possession of any amount of the drug could amount to prison time.
“If we catch you with residue, we’re liable to charge you,” Davis said. “When I say ‘residue’ that means an empty baggie with dust in it. It’s zero tolerance on our end, and that’s the law. We’re not overstepping the boundaries of the law. That’s what the law states, and that’s what we’ll enforce.”