Molly On the Rise
By RACHEL HOFFMAN, ALANNA LEVINE and TAYLOR KANG
Molly, short for molecule, is a new designer drug that has become increasingly common in communities nationwide. Countless teenagers have fallen victim to molly’s addictive qualities, and its prevalence is slowly but steadily growing in Jericho High School.
According to a survey completed by JHS seniors regarding molly, 88% of respondents said that they know someone who has taken the drug, and 14% admitted to having used it themselves.
On September 1, the third and final day of the Electric Zoo Music Festival was cancelled due the deaths of two concertgoers who overdosed on molly, which is a pure form of MDMA or Ecstasy. Many Jericho students were planning on attending the last day of the concert. “I was definitely upset that it was cancelled, but I also understood the reasoning behind the cancellation,” said senior Dani Josephson. “Molly has the potential to be extremely dangerous.” She went on to claim that she does not believe students will stop consuming the drug, even after hearing of how it resulted in such fatal consequences, because “substance abuse is almost inevitable.”
Sold in small plastic bags, molly is readily available to young adults due to its lack of odor, subtle coloring, and ability to be easily concealed. Its moderate price, which can range from $20 to $30, also accounts for its popularity among younger crowds.
Dr. Stephen Dewey, professor of Molecular Medicine at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and investigator at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, recently visited Jericho High School to discuss adolescent drug usage with parents and students. Dr. Dewey has been researching substance abuse for 30 years and is also an addiction psychiatrist. According to him, molly can cause “confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug cravings.” Consuming molly recreationally may also cause users to develop problems with regulating body temperature. Such impaired functioning of the hypothalamus may cause one’s body temperature to reach heights as extreme as 108 or 109 degrees, which would ultimately result in death.
Many seniors have an avid interest in the drug and its effects. “Reading a New York Times article about the drug really opened my eyes to how strong it really is,” said one senior in the anonymous survey. “Hearing about the deaths did as well—it made me realize that molly shouldn’t be messed with.”