Deaths at E-Zoo spark conversation about Molly
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 14:09
The death of two young adults during the Electric Zoo festival in New York City during Labor Day weekend due to an overdose of the drug Molly has raised public attention on the substance and its popularity as an aspect of rave culture.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDMA is defined as a “synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.” The NIDA says the drug increases the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in the release of serotonin, which is responsible for giving people a feeling of euphoria.
People are misled to believe Molly is safer than it is due to their experience on it, senior chemistry major Timothy Hoffman stated in an email message.
“The feeling may conceal any natural stress or anxiety, but that does not mean that the consequences have been eliminated,” Hoffman says. “To be clear, no drug is safe, and ‘Molly’ is no different. It is more prevalent now because the EDM/rave culture actually promotes it. And as newly loyal followers, of course the kids will oblige.”
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health studies show a high usage of MDMA in the mid-to-late 1990s, a dip in the early 2000s and then a steady increase beginning around 2009.
Junior Jessica L. says she believes the electronic dance music and rave culture has become synonymous with drug use.
“There’s a lot of people who are new to it that feel as though they need to do the drugs to enjoy the music when that’s not the case,” Jessica L. says.
Tammy Anderson, sociology and criminal justice professor, says the rise in popularity is partially due to the electronic dance music genre. In addition, the drug is small, odorless and cheap, often being sold for as little as $15 in a club and less on the street, she says.
Molly and dance music often go hand-in-hand and ever since disc jockeys started adding lyrics about the drug, the popularity has grown, she says. The dance music Molly is so commonly associated with puts people in a feel-good trance that allows them to jump and dance all night long, which can lead to many problems, Anderson says.
“It’s actually somewhat difficult to overdose on Molly,” Anderson says. “What usually happens is people overheat from dancing so long or the opposite could happen, and people could drink so much water they drown.”