What Is Molly? Side Effects You Should Know

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Molly. That name sounds really cute and harmless, but who is Molly? What is Molly? Molly is the slang for the illegal synthetic drug also known as Ecstasy, and MDMA. It is a stimulant, and it causes a high with feelings of euphoria, love, intense emotional warmth, intimacy. It can also cause heart attacks, seizures, brain hemorrhages, kidney failure, and death.

The real name for Molly, MDMA is 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Does it still sound harmless? It's not.


The Molly Drug and Pop Culture


Molly has been around since 1914 when it was first introduced as an appetite suppressant. And over a century later it is still relevant, in fact it's kept relevant in lots of pop culture songs, like in Miley Cyrus's song "We Can't Stop (Dancing With Molly)" and even in the hit song by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind", there's a line that says "MDMA got you feeling like a champion." And of course, there's that Future song, "Mask Off", where he's talking about Percocet and Molly which also gets us to the fact that a lot of times Molly is mixed with other drugs.


And with this recent Jussie Smollett scandal, it has been alleged, I don't know it to be true, but it has been alleged that Jussie Smollett also partakes in Molly. With that, as always, a lot of my nosy, my curious patients and friends have been asking me about Molly. Because folks seem to think that it's just cool and that it's harmless, but Molly can be fatal. So today I am going to discuss Molly.


What's In The Molly Drug?

Molly is usually ingested orally in the pill or the powdered form. It's supposed to be the pure form of MDMA, whereas Ecstasy is typically mixed with substances like amphetamines, or caffeine.


But truth be told, Molly, that is supposed to be pure, is often also mixed. It can have things like prescription drugs, it can even have illegal drugs mixed in with it, and it can even have household substances like baking soda or soap.


Truth be told if you're at a club, or at a house party, and someone offers you Molly, you really don't know what's in it. I mean it's not like it's FDA approved. You don't know.


What Does Molly Do To Your Brain and Body?


Molly, or MDMA, affects the neurotransmitters in your body. And neurotransmitters are chemicals that relay certain messages to your body. Serotonin is an example of a neurotransmitter, and it can affect the mood, the memory, the appetite, and sleep. So when Molly is taken, and it causes a serotonin release, then it causes an elated mood. It can also cause appetite suppression, and sleep deprivation.


How Long Does Molly Last?

The effects of Molly are usually seen within one to two hours of its ingestion, and the effects last anywhere from three to eight hours. What is the dosing of Molly? Well again, it's not FDA approved, so Big Brother isn't watching. Typically the dosing ranges from 50 mg to 200 mg, but pills have been known to have 300 mg to 500 mg. So again, if you're taking Molly you really don't know what you're ingesting. You could be taking in a fatal dose, and really have some detrimental effects.


molly the drug what does it do to you


Side Effects Of Molly

Let's talk about some of the effects of Molly. Some of the effects that make Molly a popular drug are that it does cause euphoria, so you have this feeling of intense happiness. It can also cause a lovingness, where you just feel really emotionally warm toward other people, and you have no problem expressing this affection. It can cause you to feel elated, have a hypersensitivity, where you enjoy music more, you enjoy colors more and lights more.  It just seems like you enjoy everything better when you have the Molly on board.


Molly can also make you less defensive, it can make you lose track of time, it can make you more social, more outgoing. So these are some of the effects that make it very attractive. And though I am now mentioning Molly simply as an illicit drug, an illegal drug, which it is, it has been studied for actual treatment in things like PTSD, but again, it's not FDA approved. It is still an illegal drug.


Negative Effects Of Molly


So now I've shared with you some of the things that make Molly a popular club drug, or house drug, or even a drug that people as couples sometimes take together. But let's talk about the part of Molly that's real, but that's not glamorized.


These are some of the negative and potentially fatal effects of Molly. Molly can cause a very fast heart rate, a tachyarrhythmia. It can also cause an arrhythmia, where you have such an irregular heartbeat that it doesn't pump effectively. Molly can cause you to have heart attacks. It can cause severe hypertension, it can cause a high blood pressure, which we know increases your risk for kidney disease, strokes.


Having Molly on board can also cause you to have a brain bleed, an intracranial hemorrhage. Molly keeps you from regulating your temperature properly, so you can get a fever or hyperthermia. You can also get a problem with your movements, where you actually don't move, and you can get rhabdomyolysis, which is when your muscle cells break down and the pigment within your muscles can cause kidney failure, the need for dialysis, or death.

All of these are real, negative effects of Molly, and these aren't fairy tales, people really have died related to these issues with Molly. Molly can also cause a status epilepticus or a seizure that just won't stop. It can also cause excessive sweating, dehydration, which again can lead to kidney failure. And then there's that dry mouth. A lot of people who take Molly are aware of the dehydration that can occur, and the dry mouth, and so they call themselves trying to make sure they drink enough water. You can also drink excessive water, with Molly, which can lead to hyponatremia, cerebral edema or brain swelling, and again, death.


what is molly


Long Term Effects Of Molly


Some of the long term effects of Molly is that it can cause what they call a crash, or come-down, where you can get depressed when you're not on the Molly. Everything in life may seem worse when you're not on Molly, and you can really get a mental addiction to the Molly. Also, if you mix the Molly with other drugs.


Now, given that Molly is oftentimes taken at parties, be it clubs or house parties, there are oftentimes other things like alcohol, amphetamines, or even cocaine. So these things can mix and cause an issue.


But prescription drugs can cause an issue as well. And I don't just mean Percocet, I'm talking about certain antidepressants, such as the SSRIs. If you're taking an antidepressant, like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and you also take Molly, which is causing this release of serotonin, then you can get serotonin syndrome, and again it can be very detrimental to your health.


So these are things that you simply must understand about taking this Molly drug, which is all over the pop culture. It seems to be really cool, and really relevant right now.


What Do You Do If Someone Is Having Negative Effects Of Molly?


So what do you do if someone is having negative effects of Molly? Well, you need to call 911, you need to activate EMS. If the person is having that hyperthermia, that fever, they need to be cooled down. If they're dehydrated, and if they have enough mental capacity to drink water, they need to drink water. But if they've been drinking too much water of course that calling 911 will help them to get evaluated, so that this hyponatremia, or cerebral edema, does not ensue.


Basically, once they get to the ER or the place of evaluation they'll have their blood sugar checked. There'll be a tox screen done and an EKG will be done. The evaluations will be done, but the key is to know that if a person is having negative effects from Molly if they're "tripping" or whatever you want to call it, it is an emergency, and 911 must be activated.


Now here's the problem: if Molly is being done at a club, or a place where other people are high or intoxicated, if you're doing that then you are now depending on people with altered mental status to save your life. So this is something to think about if you're going to be participating in street drugs. Just be real smart, just think about it. If you start to have a problem, a life-threatening problem from Molly, are you really going to trust the other people around you, who are also likely high or drunk?


A Message To Parents and Young People About Molly


I'm not just talking to young people about Molly, because there are a lot of people who are very grown who like to do Molly. Just remember this grown people: if you are older, and you already have high blood pressure, or if you have kidney disease, then you are just really, really magnifying your risk of these illnesses, given that both of them can be side effects from the Molly. So be careful.


And as for young people, oh gosh. Young folks, especially teenagers and young adults, it's tricky to have the talk about drugs with young people. And I can't say that I have mastered it, because I've not. I tried to have a talk with my daughter, kind of, she just turned 13. And last year when I took her to the nail parlor one time, I normally let her just pick her own nail colors, and she will pick things like pastels and aqua, or bright colors, really feminine colors. So I just wasn't paying attention.


When she finished getting her nails done I looked over and her fingernails were black. I looked south of her ankles and her toenails were black. This was a change, and so I did what any logical, concerned parent would do, and right there in the middle of the crowded nail shop I said, "Are you on drugs?" She didn't think that was funny, I crack myself up, no pun intended.


And I'm being a little facetious, but in all honesty, it's tricky to have the talk about drugs with young people, and this is why. Young people, I'm now talking to you. Teenagers and young adults think that they are the best that ever did it. They don't understand that parents, that mothers and fathers were young also, and let me tell you, your mamas and your daddies have lived. And so you should really listen to your parents because there's some wisdom.


what is the molly drug


If you are, for example, out at a party, and you promised your parents that there would be no drugs and no alcohol, but say there really are drugs and alcohol, and you've been drinking or you've been partaking in Molly or some other substance; don't be so scared to call your parents that you drive home under the influence, or that you actually get in the car with someone else who's under the influence. Some of you are so scared that your mamas are going to kill you that you do things that might make you kill yourselves. So young people, talk to your parents.



As for these grown-ups and parents, don't be so judgemental and so holier than though that your children don't feel comfortable talking to you about drugs or about alcohol. Sure, tell them that you don't want them to drink, tell them that you don't want them to do drugs. And explain why. But also make sure that they are comfortable enough to call you if they are out and in a situation where they have done drugs and alcohol, or if they're around people who've done those things. Make sure that they can have that dialogue with you. Adults, talk to your children and tell them stories of your youth. I know you went to the club when you were younger. I saw you there.




This ends my overview of what is Molly? Aka Ecstasy, aka MDMA. The reason I mentioned some of the positive draws toward Molly is not to glamorize the drug, I'm definitely not trying to glamorize Molly. I just want for people to understand, particularly parents, why people are drawn to Molly.


It does cause euphoria, it does cause a loving feeling, it does cause this feeling of disinhibition and being more social. This is the truth. But it also causes seizures, rapid myiasis, heart attacks, kidney failure, and it can cause death. This is the truth as well.

As always, I want you to take care of yourself, and I want you to do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life.

Dr. Frita - Frita McRae Fisher, M.D.
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  1. Richard Quimby on February 1, 2021 at 3:27 am

    Thank youVery important to pay Attention for the people u care about because it’s about quality of life and being there for those that need HELP

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