Experts: People Who Think They Are Taking “Molly” Don’t Know What They’re Getting

People who take “Molly,” the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in Ecstasy, don’t know what they are actually ingesting, experts say. They warn many powders sold as Molly do not contain any MDMA.

“Anyone can call something Molly to try to make it sound less harmful,” Rusty Payne, an agent at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) national office, told The New York Times. “But it can be anything.” The DEA considers MDMA to be a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse, and no accepted use in medical treatment.

Dr. John Halpern, a psychiatrist at Harvard who has conducted several MDMA studies, said some powders sold as Molly are synthetic versions that are designed to imitate the drug’s effects. The drug is now thought to be as adulterated as Ecstasy once was, he noted, adding, “You’re fooling yourself if you think it’s somehow safer because it’s sold in powdered form.”

Molly has been a popular drug at music festivals. It has also been popularized by rappers. The drug costs between $20 and $50 a dose.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, says he now sees about four patients a month who come in with common side effects of Molly, including teeth grinding, dehydration, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite and fever. More serious side effects can include uncontrollable seizures, high blood pressure, elevated body temperature and depression, the article notes.

“Typically in the past we’d see rave kids, but now we’re seeing more people into their 30s and 40s experimenting with it,” he told the newspaper. “MDMA use has increased dramatically. It’s really a global phenomenon now.”

According to the national Drug Abuse Warning Network, MDMA-related emergency department visits increased from 10,227 in 2004 to 22,498 in 2011.

11 Responses

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    October 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Hey kids. Listen. Molly. Is. Not. Mmda its. Just garabge. From china. Why call it. Mollyif its. Really. X there has not. Been any. Real. Mmda. Since. The. Early. 80s. They made certain chemicals illegal just. Like. Acid. You. Do. Isnt. Lsd25 just. Ergot by product , not gettig high your getting poisoned if. You want to get. High do mushrooms. Or just smoke some good. Bud. At least. Its. Real

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    jeremy ein

    September 27, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    I just found out that 1of my five kids experimented with “MOLLY” (MDMA) he swears he has only done it once or twice I own that house that has the bunch of kids in it at most any given time he said the went to a friends house to do it but I imagine. That it is not just a 2-3 hour “buzz” so I told him I was extremely disappointed not just for being hi around your younger brother but also for doing the drug in the first place without talking to me first we have a very open and honest relationship I am very proud to say anybody have any suggestions on what action I shod take now!?!?!?
    HELP PLZZZzzzz

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    June 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    It about time the experts began to address the phenomena… When children boasts about having a kiddie Crack, it’s a very sad day. They truly don’t know what they are into and shame on US for taking so long to address this! Thanks Join Together for an outstanding article!

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    Jane Maxwell

    June 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    correct 5,`48 to 5,148.

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    Jane Maxwell

    June 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    What is missing from this article (and the NYTimes article) is that the purity of MDMA pills/capsules is down and the number of items analyzed by forensic labs across the US (NFLIS) are down. According to, the proportion of pills containing only MDMA has dropped from 50% in 2001 to 23% in 2013 and the number of seized exhibits that are MDMA has dropped from 21,790 in 2006 to 5,`48 in 2012. Because of the shortage of pure MDMA, we’re seeing a return of some of the old drugs created to mimic MDMA in the 1980s and also seeing the side effects when the Molly isn’t what Molly is sold as

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