WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Club Drug "Molly" Linked to UVa Student's Death, Health Officials Warn of Alarming Trend


September 9, 2013

You can find it in songs performed by pop music stars Rihanna and Miley Cyrus and in clubs and on college campuses across the country. The drug called "Molly" is a purified form of MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. It's a hallucinogenic, popular in night clubs and music festivals.

"It gives you energy, colors become vibrant and sounds are distorted because there is a lot of serotonin and dopamine in your brain," said Dr. Christopher Holstege, the director of the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center and a professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia. But Holstege warns the drug can cause seizures and even death.

The drug is linked to the deaths of four people in one week in Boston and New York, and the family of UVa student Mary Shelley Goldsmith says she took the drug the night she passed out in a Washington, DC nightclub and later died at a nearby hospital.

Holstege said ecstasy related cases are becoming more common in emergency rooms across the country. According to data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), the number of cases more than doubled between 2004 and 2011, from 10,227 ecstasy related cased in the ER to 22,498 cases.

"It's still a small percentage compared to all drugs of abuse but it is increasing," Holstege said.

Those numbers reflect what students on UVa Grounds say they are seeing on a daily basis.

"You hear of some friends are involved in that stuff, but generally it doesn't have a presence here," said Colvin Wang, a fourth year student at UVa.

Another fourth year student said other drugs were more prevalent around campus. "Some people smoke a lot of marijuana and there's a fair amount of alcohol," said Neil Molstey. "But we don't have a very large drug culture."

Health officials warn that drug dealers often mix substances when making "Molly" and users may end up taking something entirely different than ecstasy.

"It truly is kind of like Russian Roulette," said Holstege. "You may not get the right bullet and shoot yourself in the head. No one intends to die or get sick."


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 223066611