Police officials are currently conducting an on-going investigation into the potential relationship between four recent deaths across major Eastern cities of the United States and a tainted batch of, what is supposed to be, one of the purest forms of ecstasy (A.K.A. MDMA), called “Molly.” As a wave of tragic deaths sweeps across the nation, we investigate the power of Molly, as well as the many young lives that have been affected by its destructive properties.
The Power of Molly
Molly is a psychoactive agent, often taken socially, and is typically associated with raves and clubbing. The drug can elicit a range of emotional responses, including euphoria and intimacy and inhibits the user’s anxiety. Many who have tried Molly have also reported experiencing mild psychedelic effects.
MDMA was entirely legal and uncontrolled up until 1985, when the Drug Enforcement Administration classified it as Schedule I. Subsequently, the drug’s classification was temporarily suspended, up until 1988 when it was then reinforced. In 1988, under the Controlled Substances Act, MDMA was returned to its Schedule I status.
Despite the government’s tough stance on the possession and distribution of MDMA, enforcing harsher penalties for those who had been caught (even with small doses), the drug’s use remains widespread.
Molly is essentially the powder or crystalline form of MDMA. It can adversely influence your body temperature, leading to extreme hyperthermia, which can result in liver and kidney failure, seizures and death. In addition, many subjects who take Molly will do so whilst engaged in sustained physical activity and under the influence of alcohol; these activities can lead to rapid dehydration, increasing an individual’s propensity towards a bad reaction. Recent scientific research has also suggested MDMA may exert a neurotoxic effect in certain parts of the brain.
Another significant danger, often overlooked by young party-goers, is the potential for Molly to become contaminated. Simply put, a buyer will be unaware of what the drug is cut with, and underground drug gangs often bundle in additional substances to reduce manufacturing costs.
A Wave of Drug Deaths
Three of the tragic deaths took placed Aug. 31. Two individuals died at an annual electronic festival, called E-Zoo (Electric Zoo Festival) in New York, culminating in the final date of the show having to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, a young student, attending the University of Virginia, collapsed during a rave at a Washington D.C. nightclub, called Echo Stage. Local law enforcement agents, who had attended the scene, were informed by the 19-year-old’s friends that she had taken the illicit drug Molly, prior to her collapse. The paramedics were seen performing CPR, in a desperate bid to revive the student, whose identity was later confirmed to be Mary Goldsmith. An unconscious Goldsmith was then rushed to a local hospital, and was later pronounced dead by medical personnel.
However, only three days prior to this, on Aug. 27, another 19-year-old student, based at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, had ingested a lethal dose of Molly when visiting a local music hall, called the House of Blues. According to the Boston Globe, The club’s employees described some of the horrific scenes they had witnessed that night.
The young girl in question, Brittany Flannigan, is alleged to have fallen over on the dance floor. She quickly returned to her feet and rejected any medical intervention. However, whilst departing the scene, employees claim
she suddenly went stiff. She was then seen convulsing, whilst still standing. The club’s security team escorted Flannigan and her sister to a stairwell and laid her down. In spite of their best efforts, young Flannigan continued to convulse.
Flannigan was also pronounced dead, with the cause being pinned on an overdose of Molly. Several other clubbers also received medical treatment for suspected overdoses. It wasn’t until the club’s closing that staff realized that other individuals in the club had also taken the drug; one man was seen bleeding from his head, and appeared dazed and confused.
Three days after the spate of Molly overdoses, seen in New York and Washington, three other people required medical treatment for suspected overdoses during a concert in Boston, at the Bank of American Pavilion. Fox News reports that authorities are looking into a nightclub in one of the Boston suburbs that had experienced a history of drug overdoses.
A Bad Batch?
Police officials remain unsure as to whether all of these overdoses are related to one another, and continue their detailed investigations. However, many conjecture a commonality to perhaps exist between the numerous victims. Those who had suffered symptoms of Molly overdose may have received a bad batch of drugs from a similar, original source.
Anthony Pettigrew, a spokesperson for the DEA’s New England Division posits a “good batch” of Molly simply does not exist. He indicates these drugs are manufactured in makeshift drug labs, which are prone to contamination. In a subversive bid to generate more cash, drug dealers will also create cocktails of different drugs, throwing in methamphetamines and other addictive substances, to ensure their clientele becomes hooked, so they might squeeze them of more money.
Toxicology testing is still due to be carried out on the four bodies. However, based upon alleged reports from Goldsmith’s friends, it seems the University of Virginia student had indeed taken Molly. Goldsmith’s father had also spoken to his daughter’s friends, and he was informed of the same details; he vows to make the case public, so as to broadcast the potential tragic effects of taking Molly to other youngsters.
Goldsmith was described as a “gifted” young student, who was studying at an esteemed university with a scholarship. And, now, her promising life has been cut short, as has been the case with so many others. Hopefully, this will serve as a stark warning to those who take, or are planning to take, Molly. Drugs are distributed by individuals who only care about financial returns and will likely not be concerned by the tragic wave of deaths recently observed. If anything can be gained from this suspected batch of tainted Molly, let’s hope it is the lesson to think about what we are putting into our own fragile bodies.
By: James Fenner