"How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?!"
That remark was Madonna's attempt to be current and hip onstage at last month's Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Molly, of course, is slang for the rave drug known as MDMA. After her remark at Ultra, super-producer DeadMau5 was swift to chastise the pop star via social media:
"Very classy there, Madonna. 'HUR DUR HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY???' Such a great message for the young music lovers at Ultra."
It sounds harsh, but perhaps the guy who wears a giant, glowing mouse head is on the right side of this argument.
MDMA was first synthesized by pharmaceutical giant Merck in 1912 as an anti-hemorraging drug. It was used in psychiatric studies in the 1960s and '70s, but that stopped on March 23, 1988, when the Powers That Be made it a Schedule I drug, carrying the same legal penalties as heroin or cocaine. It is still legal throughout much of Europe.
MDMA increases the activity of three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. It's in the drug family known as "enactogens," similar to stimulants and hallucinogens. Kids love it because it gets them high. It relieves social anxiety, produces euphoria, gets you dancing and deepens your connections to people, music, life. Hip-hop stars and EDM DJs often promote its use, mentioning date rape and sexual effects on women as a positive effect.
Sounds great! Is there a downside?
Yes. Young women are more sensitive to this drug, mostly due to the water retention caused by their higher levels of estrogen. Too much water dilutes sodium levels, which can cause disorientation, convulsions, coma and death. MDMA also causes high blood pressure, hyperthermia (getting too hot) and neurotoxic damage. It is also very addictive, and I hear the come-down is a bitch.
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Recently, a beautiful, 16-year-old girl named Olivia died after using the drug. She fell into a coma and never recovered. If she had, she would have had both of her legs and one of her hands amputated. She had fluid in her lungs that, despite daily suctioning, never abated. She suffered strokes and had blood clots in her brain and organs.
Talking to your kids might help them stay safe, or maybe only a little bit safer. Can't we help them find the euphoria that is inherent in love, nature, responsibility, achievement, art and music?
Do it in memory of Olivia.