The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Dallas’ deadly euphoria: Drugs’ new unexamined sensation

SMU graduate Eric Moyer has been dancing for hours straight in the merciless heat of the Dallas summer sun. Eric doesn’t care, he’s having the time of his life. The five pills of Ecstasy and two points of Molly Eric took has fueled his energized body. Through his euphoric high, Eric “felt as I was going to collapse and die. The crazy part is, I snorted more Molly.”

If you’ve listened to the radio during 2013, it’s likely you’ve heard the name Molly. “Molly” is an illegal drug that has become increasingly prevalent in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Officer, identified as Agent Conde, said that Molly has increased nearly 300 percent in the U.S. in the last year.

The demand for Molly is quickly increasing, and it’s not hard to see why. Molly is the crystalized or powdered form of MDMA, the main chemical found in Ecstasy. Unlike other drugs, Molly is a stimulant that binds with the brain’s serotonin transporters, which regulate mood. While some may not prefer the hallucinations brought on by LSD or the numb of marijuana, Molly manipulates the mood enhancers the brain already naturally has: serotonin. Blake*, an SMU student and Molly user who preferred to remain anonymous, described the high saying, “It wasn’t as if there was a substance that was controlling me…It was as if my body was naturally making me this way.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this adjustment to the brain’s neurotransmitters creates feelings of euphoria, confidence, and increased energy.

“My first time taking ecstasy was the best experience of my life,” said Eric. The first time Eric took Molly, he was a freshman attending a concert at Lizard Lounge, where he quickly found a dealer. Eric was no stranger to drugs or alcohol abuse, spending almost every night of his freshmen year drinking himself to the point of blacking out, and trying drugs like Cocaine, Xanax, and Mushrooms. But none of his previous experiences compared to Molly. “I reached the high I had been searching for my entire life,” Eric said.

While high, or “rolling” on Molly, Eric’s senses were heightened, and he later described his feelings as “extremely amplified,” saying, “Whenever I was touched anywhere on my body I would experience what I would call an orgasm.”

Eric reflects, “This was the high that I would spend the next seven months of my life chasing and would never find again.”

The demand for Molly has seen a significant increase nationwide, and Dallas is no exception. Dallas Police Narcotics Department Detective Hernandez said, “We’re noticing that it’s being carried around…It’s definitely the club drug right now.” Even in 2011, when Eric was a freshman, “Finding Molly at SMU was easy. You just had to know the right people,” he said. And on a college campus, you don’t have to look very far. In a survey of 70 SMU students, 57 percent said they had a friend they knew they could buy Molly from, even if they had never tried Molly before. The line between drug user and dealer has become blurred. Eric and his friends became dealers by association. They always bought more than they needed. At concerts, they’d sell the extra for a profit.

Because students can likely buy from a friend or acquaintance, this takes a lot of the skepticism out of the purchase. Blake, who first took Molly at a concert, was offered a pill while dancing with a girl. Drunk, Blake swallowed the pill without asking what it was. Because he had met the girl before, Blake explained, he “wasn’t too concerned about it being life threatening.”

Finding Molly around Dallas was just as simple as finding it on campus, Eric found. “If I could not find Molly at SMU, the Lizard Lunge or after hours clubs would always have dealers,” he said.

Not only is Molly easy to find, it’s marketed as “pure,” and therefore safer than other illegal drugs. While Ecstasy is a combination of MDMA and other chemicals, Molly sets itself apart, containing only MDMA. A main criticism of Ecstasy was it’s potential to be cut with other drugs, which a buyer often wouldn’t be able to spot. “I was very skeptical of Ecstasy and I still am, because you don’t really know what the dealer is putting in it,” said Blake. In theory, Molly provides the perfect solution: pure MDMA with less risk of other unwanted drugs. If Ecstasy was Coca-Cola, Molly was Coke Zero: the same effect without the unnecessary pollutants. “It’s pretty much been replacing Ecstasy, if it hasn’t already,” said Detective Hernandez.

Despite the fact that Molly is often perceived as safer, it still has the potential for danger. DEA Conde says, “We have found it is mixed with many different unknown substances.” If MDMA has been combined with other drugs under the false title of “Molly,” it will rarely be realized until after the user has already taken it.

Because Molly is essentially just Ecstasy rebranded, a plethora of misconceptions surfaced about what exactly this “new” drug’s dangers were. Although Blake said he knew Molly was bad for his brain, the only negative effects he knew of was that, “It kills some brain cells, what it really does is it fatigues your mind.” For drug users like Blake, losing brain cells is a vague risk worth taking. Blake, who has taken Molly 3 times, said he would feel comfortable taking it another one or two times in his life. 30 percent of SMU students surveyed said that though they never tried Molly, they expect their experience would be good. One SMU student respondent said, “It seems to be fairly harmless.”

The reality, however, is much different, according to SMU’s Assistant Director of Health Education Lisa Joyner, who noted that the drug creates a potential for seizures, severe dehydration, and even cardiovascular failure. Joyner says Molly “can cause confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving.”

Eric experienced the Molly’s negative physical and emotional effects firsthand. After being scanned, Eric’s doctors told him his Molly and Ecstasy use had directly caused some brain damage. In addition, Eric said, “Molly was a major reason for my spike in depression and eventually led to suicidal behaviors and thoughts. Molly is dangerous drug. I used to tell myself that it wasn’t, but that was a load of crap.”

A major danger of Molly is the intensity of the high is often seen as too great to not experience more than once. Eric said, “I instantly became addicted to the feelings associated with Molly from the first time I took it…I was always chasing that first high on ecstasy.”

“I went to just about any lengths to find Molly,” Eric revealed. “I was slowly withdrawing physically, socially, and mentally. I just flat out could not feel a damn thing. And I honestly to this day believe that to be a direct effect of the Molly.” It wasn’t until Eric received his second DUI that he sought treatment. He is currently 14 months sober and is actively involved in a recovery program.

Though Eric’s experience with Molly isn’t one that’s often told, it is by no means an isolated case. In reality, Eric’s issues with Molly aren’t even a worst-case scenario. Once, while rolling on Molly at a club, a stranger fell into Eric’s arms, overdosing on MDMA, then foamed at the mouth and collapsed to the floor. “I don’t know if he died or survived.”

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