MDMA, better known as molly, ecstasy, or just E, is a regular part of music festivals and raves. Festival-goers and ravers love the effects it has, including a feeling of euphoria, increased energy, and general feelings of happiness and joy. It makes them want to dance all night and gives them the energy to do it. They feel connected to the people around them, reduced anxiety, and heightened sensations. As an added bonus, it acts fairly quickly. It usually kicks in within 30-45 minutes, and the effects can last for up to 6 hours. At raves, especially, with the music up as loud as it is and the lighting effects, the feelings of molly can be intensified.
But what most of them don’t realize is the danger of taking molly in such a setting. One of the side effects of molly is a raised body temperature. Even moderate doses of molly can raise body temperature to a dangerous level when taken in hot temperature. Since music festivals are typically held in warm weather, the effect can be amplified, and when combined again with the high-energy dancing taking place, it can be deadly. High body temperature, called hypothermia, can quickly lead to muscle breakdown and kidney failure, which can lead to death within minutes.
Another dangerous side effect of MDMA is that it can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize other drugs. Taking multiple drugs at once is another common occurrence at music festivals and raves, as is mixing those drugs with alcohol, all of which can combine to deadly effect. Seizures, heart failure, massive organ failure, all of these have been reported at various events.
Part of the problem is that when the demand for molly began to rise, the supply couldn’t keep up with the demand, and dealers started to cut it with other drugs or substances. After about 2007, when the demand across college campuses grew, and the drug was name-dropped in several pop and rap songs, the access to pure molly became rare. Today most of what is being passed around at your average festival or rave is nowhere near what it used to be. Several of these synthetic drugs give the user more of the stimulant properties of MDMA, and less of the euphoric properties, completely missing the point of the original drug. It’s also not unusual to get a pill with no actual MDMA in it at all. Therefore it is crucial to purchase an MDMA testing kit to know what substance you are ingesting. This means that people who think they’re taking molly are often taking something completely different, which leads to side effects they weren’t expecting when they take other drugs or alcohol with it. Even if they aren’t mixing it with anyone else, they have no idea what they’re taking or how it will affect them.
Pure molly is usually harmless. But the flood of synthetic drugs into the market combined with the feeling of invulnerability usually shown by the very young can be a deadly combination.