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BohrerIn her latest hit single, Miley Cyrus sings “We like to party, dancing with Molly.”

She is referring to the current popular designer drug. I have clients in my private practice as well as the inmates I work with at the jail talking about it. What I find interesting is that when I ask people who have used Molly what it is, their answers tend to vary greatly. There are several theories regarding what constitutes a dose of Molly. It appears that Molly is nothing more than a crystal or powder form of MDMA, which is most commonly known for its use in the club drug Ecstasy, usually found in a pressed pill form.

MDMA (Ecstasy) became popular at “raves” (underground dance parties) in the early 1990s. Molly has gained popularity from the belief that it’s a more “pure” form of MDMA that has not been cut with other substances like methamphetamine, caffeine, ketamine, etc. With our ever-growing “green” culture, people are often drawn to what they see as unaltered or “natural,” however, there is little to no proof that Molly is a cleaner substance than Ecstasy. As with many other synthetic drugs, it is often too expensive for dealers to sell them in their purest form, so they are often cut with other less expensive substances. One dose of Molly currently ranges anywhere from $20 to $50 and there is no way to know what you are actually ingesting.

Taking unidentifiable substances is one of the main risks with illegally manufactured drugs, and Molly is no different.

The euphoria that comes with Molly includes a sense of bonding and human connection that many individuals may feel they are lacking in their lives.

With the increased influence and integration of social media into our everyday lives, authentic human relationships are being replaced by more remote and digital interactions. Common side effects of Molly include teeth grinding, dehydration, anxiety, insomnia, fever and loss of appetite. The more dangerous side effects of Molly consist of possible uncontrollable seizures, hyperthermia, high blood pressure and acute depression resulting from a depletion of serotonin in the days following use.

Although there have been few deaths reported with the use of Molly, and people using the drug usually do so recreationally, one could easily buy and ingest a more fatal drug combination and/or dosage under false pretenses.

So if you hear your kids talking about “Molly,” keep in mind that it might not be their new BFF but rather the new “It” drug which is being used by maximum security inmates and Lake Oswego youth alike.

Teal Bohrer, Lake Oswego, has a master’s degree in addiction counseling from Lewis & Clark College and is pursuing a doctoral degree in counseling education from Oregon State University. She sees individuals for a variety of issues at her local private practice.

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