Straight Talk Advice

It’s Party Time — Be Safe, Be Sane and Don’t Trust Molly

Dec 22, 2014

Rain on your Rave: Most Molly a mixture of meth and other synthetics

Dear Straight Talk: My roommate got totally wasted at a dorm party on what she was told was Molly. Somebody brought her back to our room and literally dumped her on me. She fell on the floor, I had to practically carry her down the hall, help her on and off the toilet, then put her in bed as she was incapable of anything. She was totally out of it the next day and two more days passed before she returned to normal. She won't do anything like this again and neither will I after seeing this! —J.H., 19, Irvine, Calif.

Dear J.H.: What happened to your friend is not cool. We received several letters like yours and with the party season here, I hope it will inspire others to take a pass on Molly, E (Ecstasy), and other drugs, as well as protect drinks from being spiked. You just don't know what you're getting with Molly. It's been branded as pure MDMA, Ecstasy less pure, but according to the DEA, of all the Molly seized in New York state over the last four years, only 13 percent contained any MDMA. Taking it is essentially being a guinea pig. Officials found completely different synthetic combinations — many containing meth — within the same batches of Molly, which explains the variety of effects. To our Young Readers: Please be safe this New Year's Eve. Your life is worth it. 

Brandon 21, Mapleton, Maine Ask me a question

A friend made top-grade MDMA for several years before being caught, selling to wealthy kids of prominent parents in the community. If you're not incredibly rich, chances are you'll get some chemical-filled MDMA substitute. I urge everyone to realize the consequences if a drug is free or cheap. MDMA is dangerous in itself, but bad batches or mixtures of other synthetics can kill you. Educate yourself and beware of what's being served or sold.

Delaney 23, San Rafael, Calif. Ask me a question

I'm responsible, work with children and don't party much, so for my last birthday, my friends wanted me to try Molly — which they do regularly. I was told Molly was pure MDMA. I didn't learn till afterward that it's also called the “love drug”. Within an hour of taking it, I was a hot mess walking up to strangers in the nightclub asking to be kissed and held. When I was unable to keep my clothes on, my friends got me out of there. While they were checking us into a hotel, I disappeared and they found me down the street walking away with some prostitutes. I've been drunk, I've smoked weed, but I've never felt so totally and completely drugged. I mean, what did I take? My friends took twice my dose and were totally fine. The potential danger I was in was incredible.

Ashley 26, Auburn, Calif. Ask me a question

I have never seen anyone that incoherent from Molly before! I have seen the jaw clenching/teeth grinding, though (totally creepy!). I know many people who really enjoy Molly and have a relaxed attitude about it. It is definitely everywhere, from small parties to festivals, and has been since I was in high school 10 years ago.

Gregg 23, Houston, Texas Ask me a question

Sounds like your friend was roofied [date-rape drugged]. I've taken Molly a few times. The connection with friends and music was unbelievable. But I read that of all the Molly captured by police most contains zero MDMA and one of the main ingredients is meth! Basically, you don't know what you're ingesting when you take “Molly”. Even pure MDMA has risks. Following the highs of feeling connected, coming down can be extremely depressing. A friend killed himself coming off MDMA after months of use. Stay away from the drug.

Breele 20, Los Angeles, Calif. Ask me a question

I've taken Molly numerous times, usually with reliable effects of having fun and feeling good. However, twice I've been very sick the next day, once vomiting orange all day. It's also super depressing to come off of. I've been told Molly is pure MDMA, but I've heard differently and my experience says differently. I probably won't do it anymore.

Editor's Note (Adapted from our column of Oct. 21):

Molly and Ecstasy — Not your parent's MDMA

High-finance branding story: MDMA was nicknamed E or Ecstasy, until so much of the Ecstasy was found to have very little or no MDMA in it. So the drug syndicates assigned the name "Molly" to indicate pure MDMA. The new brand is wildly successful. Teens and young adults are taking it like raving idiots at a, well, rave — or even just a party. But wait, news flash: Molly often contains zero MDMA! Our kids are being lied to and experimented on like labs rats in a multibillion dollar for-profit drug business that doesn't give a rat's ass about the lab rats.

The DEA says only 13 percent of the Molly seized in New York state over the last four years contained any MDMA, and when they did find MDMA, it was always mixed with other drugs. Molly appears to be a pretty random mixture of synthetic chemicals and officials find completely different ingredients in the same batches of Molly sold. The problem is, drug enforcement is always a step behind the money-making machine. They identify a synthetic chemical and make it illegal, and the illegal drug industry just makes a new one (think quickly-mutating viruses), so nobody even knows what these drugs are and what they do. Our kids do the testing.

Where's Molly? Frothing at the mouth and dilating in pupils near you, mostly in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The fastest emerging drug problem is from synthetic drugs for the Gen Y and Z rave, dance and party scene and it's growing at a breakneck pace along with the synthetic music to take the drugs to (live music not acceptable). Here's a 2014 example of a hot rave track. The music also goes by the names electronica, dub step, house, deep house, and EDM, which stands for, ready for this shocker?: electronic dance music. Hear stuff your kid likes? He/she is probably exposed to Molly and E.

Age 12-17, too. Molly is not just a 20-something's rave crowd drug, or for "burners", it is also marketed to kids age 12-17 and is as commonly used at small high school house parties as at raves. 

Warning signs of E or Molly use:
• Dilated pupils see image #5
• Foaming at the mouth see image #6
• Blurred vision
• Rapid eye movement
• Jaw clenching
• Sweating
• Sudden loss of appetite
• High and low temperatures
• Violent or bizarre behavior
• Psychosis
• Death
• Depression such as sadness (after coming off)
• Unable to get out of bed for an extended period (after coming off)

Some parents may remember MDMA, which was invented in Germany, as a depression cure. It came on the scene, mostly among psychologists, in the early 1980's and I remember it being used and experimented with by famous and important people, even touted as a possible world-peace drug because it made everyone loving, compassionate and grateful. Penicillin for the soul. Well, your kid isn't taking MDMA at their dance party. Today's so-called pure MDMA is a lie. I've had kids describe Molly, it's clearly not MDMA, and it's much more addicting (meth is one of the ingredients they find in Molly). Bottom line: nobody knows what's in the Molly they're taking. From tests, it seems to be whatever synthetic drugs got swept into a pile that day. —Lauren

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  1. By Angie, age 19, from Fullerton, CA on 12/23/2014

    I had a similar experience when I stupidly decided to try Molly/Ecstasy at a party in my dorm.  At first, I was high as a kite and it seemed like the greatest thing I had ever experienced.  However, I blacked out and 2 girls on my hall later found my naked on the bathroom floor and I didn’t even remember how I got there.  To make matters even more embarrassing, I had pooped right there on the floor!  And to make it even much more embarrassing, when they were taking me back to my room another girl was coming back from a date with her boyfriend and there I was being walked to my room stark naked.  It was no big deal that the other girls saw me this way as we see each other naked in the showers anyway, but it was very, very, embarrassing to have a guy see me. I haven’t even let my own big brother see me naked since I was 5 or 6 years old, and my sister and I always closed and locked the door to our room when we were undressed.  It was totally my fault since guys are allowed to come on the hall to visit the girls.  I can’t even look him in the eye when I see him now, even though he nicely tries to act like nothing ever happened.

    I will never use something like this again and it was my own fault, but these drugs and others are used openly and those in charge of the dorms do nothing to prevent it.


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  2. By Bill, age 17, from Carmichael, CA on 12/24/2014

    This isn’t only happening at colleges.  Many high school students are also experimenting with Molly and/or Ecstasy.  My sister came home from a party extremely hyper and incoherent after using Molly for the first time at a party.  It was scary to see her this way.  fortunately, our parents weren’t home, but I had to help her use the bathroom, undress, and get in bed which was an uncomfortable and embarrassing thing to do as her brother, and unlike some sisters I’ve read about in Straight Talk, she would never have let me see her undressed or on the toilet at other times, but in the state she was in, I felt I had no choice.  The next day, she did not even remember what had happened or how she had got home (fortunately, someone in better shape had brought her).  I didn’t want to embarrass her by telling her what I’d had to do for her, so I didn’t tell her.  I think she learned her lesson, and after seeing this, I will never use drugs like this either.


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    1. By S.L., age 16, from Anaheim, CA on 12/26/2014

      This even goes below the high school level.  My 13 year old sister who is still in middle school got wasted on what was said to be “Molly” although who knows exactly what it was!  Many of her friends have also experimented with drugs like this.  She was totally incoherent when she got home and was extremely dizzy and couldn’t even stand up straight and didn’t even know where she was.  Like others who’ve written I had to help her use the bathroom and undress she was so wasted.  As sisters who share a room and the bathroom, we see each other nude and on the toilet every day, so it didn’t really bother me to help her this way.  It just scared me to see her like this.  I was hoping that she’d be OK the next day so I wouldn’t have to tell our mom who wasn’t there when she came home, but she was still wasted the next day, and our mom demanded to know what happened, so I had to tell her.  Now my sister’s indefinitely grounded and can’t even leave the house except to go to school and is grounded to just our room after dinner every night.  She even gave her what is probably the worst punishment for a teenager these days:  she took away her cell phone, so she can’t even call or text her friends!  I really think my sister learned her lesson and our mom should now ease up since it’s been over a month, but she says she can’t trust what my sister might do, so she’s grounded and without her cell for who knows how long.


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      1. By Sarah, age 16, from Lodi, CA on 12/26/2014

        I agree that your mom is being really harsh with your sister, and she should be given another chance after a reasonable time.  It’s no big deal when our mom grounds my sister or me to our room for a short time.  However, just the threat of taking away our cells (which she has threatened if we ever take drugs or get drunk) is more than enough to keep us in line. 

        Having said that, a 13 year old using Molly is a very serious matter, and giving your sister a second chance should be combined with measures to make sure it does not happen again, such as making sure she always knows where she is and whom she’s with and carefully checking out any party scene, if she’s allowed to go to parties at all.  I have a 14 year old sister, and if she came home in such bad shape that I had to undress her and help her in the bathroom, I would definitely tell our mom even if it meant her losing her cell for a while as that would teach her a valuable lesson.  As with you, it’s not a problem for us to see each other undressed or even “on the facility.”  The point is that if someone is so wasted that she can’t do these things for herself, it’s definitely something to be very concerned about.


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      2. By Marj, age 41, from Toledo, OH on 12/27/2014

        I agree that taking away a cell phone is a harsh punishment for teenagers these days.  For the same reason, it can be effective and appropriate in serious situations.  I am a single parent with 2 teenage daughters.  Grounding them to their room as punishment has little effect as long as they have their cells to talk and text with their friends.  However, it’s like the end of the world to take away their cells for even a day.  As far as I know, they have not used drugs such as Molly, but if they did, I think that taking away their cells would be an appropriate way to impress upon the serious nature of this.  The first time, I would just do it for a reasonable time to see if they learned their lesson.

        Even though I have no evidence of drug use, I think there is something going on with them that they don’t want me to know, so I worry that it could be drugs, even though I have not observed any of the symptoms of drug use that I have read about such as in this week’s column.  They have started to lock the door to their room and I can hear them talking in hushed tones, but can’t tell what they are saying.  When I asked why they are locking their door, they say that it is because they need “privacy,” but I don’t know what kind of privacy they are talking about.  They aren’t shy about my seeing them undressed (and they shouldn’t be since I’m their mother) and go to the shower nude since we have an all-female household, and often walk around in their thongs during warm weather.  They share our only bathroom in the morning and don’t have a problem with my coming in if I need something even if one of them happens to be on the toilet.  Therefore, I don’t understand why they are locking me out of their room claiming a need for “privacy.”  If that means they’re doing something they don’t want me to know about, then maybe that means it is something I should know about.  So far, I have not forced the issue, but I’m not sure as how to best handle it.


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        1. By C.C., age 40, from Petaluma, CA on 12/27/2014

          I agree that your daughters must be hiding something from you if they are suddenly locking their door.  If they’re walking around nude and in their thongs in front of you, it is obviously not an issue of modesty, so it must be something else.  Don’t assume that it is not drugs, as the symptoms of drug use are not always immediately obvious.  My sister did not have a clue that her son had been using drugs for months until he overdosed and needed emergency treatment and was totally shocked that it had been going on under her nose. Even his twin sister with whom he shared a room swore that she didn’t have a clue, although my sister suspects that she isn’t being totally honest about it.

          I have never allowed my daughters to lock their door.  If it were up to me, their door wouldn’t even have a lock, but we live in a rental apartment and that is the way it came.  I do have the courtesy to knock before entering their room even though as their mother they don’t have a problem with me coming in when they’re undressed or even nude.  However, my sister and I always resented the way our mother would barge in on us without warning even though as with my daughters, we didn’t care if she came in when we were undressed. We just didn’t like being barged in on.  I therefore recommend that you forbid them to lock the door, but tell them that you will knock first.  You should also investigate what they may be trying to hide and carefully look for any signs of possible drug use.


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        2. By Esther, age 42, from Santa Rosa, CA on 12/28/2014

          My 16 year old twin son and daughter don’t have a lock on their bedroom door.  However, I have told them that I will respect their privacy by knocking before entering their room and not searching their drawers. etc.,  so long as they don’t give me reason to believe that they cannot be trusted, such as evidence of drug, alcohol, or tobacco use.  I have also used the threat of taking away their cell phones if they do any of these things, which also has been very effective.  The idea of my coming into their room without knocking doesn’t concern my daughter that much, since she has no problem with me seeing her nude.  However, it really concerns my son which is understandable at his age, even though they both are still comfortable undressing in front of each other and even sharing the bathroom.  They didn’t even want a privacy partition when I offered to get one for them after seeing it recommended in Straight Talk for opposite sex teenagers who must share a room.  I told him that he has nothing to worry about as long as he does not engage in any behavior that would make me believe that he cannot be trusted, and so far neither of them has.  I believe that parents should keep a close watch over their teenagers for things such as symptoms of drug or alcohol use.  However, as long as their is no evidence that they are doing anything wrong, they should be trusted and their privacy should be respected.


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        3. By LAUREN, from on 12/28/2014

          Marj, C.C. and Esther—It’s great to see parents writing in, I love how our readers help each other. Interestingly, we are running a column on door locking in a couple weeks, so your comments are timely. The panel has amazing things to say about it, many which were eye-opening for me (about the lock giving the teen too easy an excuse to isolate/depress), and where I had been more inclined (like Esther) to support a teen being able to lock a door if there was no cause to inhibit it, I am now inclined to only recommend locking for dressing/undressing, and possibly even better is the arrangement C.C. describes of agreeing and being trustworthy as a parent to never barge in and promise to always knock first (and the teen promise to always let the parent in unless they are dressing).

          Of course, all this goes out the window in the many homes where girls are sexually abused or frightened by stepfathers, and less often bio fathers, live-in or visiting male relatives, and female relatives, too…  and then you want to empower them to LOCK their door! It’s a very non black and white issue with no set right or wrong. Privacy is power and you don’t want to take that option away in many situations. Tune back in in a couple weeks for a deeper explore and lots of options to a lock, or how to make a lock work for everyone’s benefit. The panel has amazing thoughts on it!

          Back to the present thread, Marj, I agree that something is going on, and it’s hard to say what it is. C.C. is correct though that if it is drugs, sometimes drug symptoms are very hard to spot. I would definitely sit the girls down very seriously and tell them you know something is going on. You can even pretend you know what it is, to flush out the story. Or if that doesn’t work, tell them it’s your job as a mom to know, that you want to help them, and you will not punish them. (I know, tricky, if it should turn out to be a punishable offense…. but there are other things you can do besides punishment, such as require counseling or other things that aren’t trauma-based but intervene nonetheless and build your daughter’s self esteem… most trouble is due to low self-esteem. You can also do things behind the scenes to get the situation “busted” anonymously.) You are the executive and they are relying on your resourcefulness to keep them safe and yet growing and learning.

          Depending on your instincts as to the seriousness of it, I wouldn’t hesitate to check through their room for what they might be hiding, check their phones, check with their friends and their friends’ parents, and definitely check their social media pages! It’s incredible what goes on, plastered in plain sight for the world to see, but the adults aren’t seeing it or don’t know the slang (look up stuff in Snooping is totally allowed with cause (the panelists say so themselves and we have done several columns on it), and you have cause.

          It could be something not so serious, too. Many teens find relatively simple things super scary and feel they need to be kept secret. Some of it is face-saving, pride and ego things that make them want to keep something a secret. By sitting them down and saying you know something is going on, you should get clues from their reaction as to how serious it is. Let us know what happens! I think I will take your letter and make a full column from it, but it will be a few weeks.—Love, Lauren

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      3. By LAUREN, from on 12/28/2014

        S.L.—I’m glad your sister got in trouble… I always feel sorry for those who don’t get caught while young. It’s often the thing that causes a course change. That said, sometimes too harsh a punishment can backfire. Not always, but sometimes, it depends on the dynamic and amount of respect between parent and child. And one way to damage that respect is to mete out punishments that don’t fit the crime, either too harsh or too light, both will cause loss of respect toward the parent.
        A month for a first-time offense seems pretty harsh, and is certainly PLENTY, although, again, it depends on the dynamic, respect level, and personality types of the parent and teen.

        As I’ve mentioned in STA before, parents want to prevent drug/alcohol use, not socializing, which is a teen’s very lifeblood. The best way (that I know of so far) is to establish the following agreement. You might share this with your mom. Hope it helps! It is for kids over 16 or 17. For under 16, you can usually still get away with saying no to parties. —Love, Lauren

        1) Teen must always leave the house with a charged phone.

        2) Teen must give exact physical location to the parent as to where they are; even if they’re moving around teen continues to inform of physical location.

        3) When parent calls (and parents MUST call for this to work), teen must pick up and speak. If phone is dead,  teen doesn’t pick up, is irritated, sounds “off” (i.e. intoxicated), or has a friend talk to you instead of speaking to you directly, parent goes to that location to check up on teen, or get teen (no matter how amazing the excuse as to why he/she can’t come to the phone, or is irritable).

        4) If parent gets there and all is well, the teen knows the parent cares intensely and won’t be snowed. If all is not well (teen is intoxicated) or teen isn’t there, consequences happen, such as grounding and cell phone removal for a period of time depending on whether it’s first, second, or third offense, etc., and the condition of the teen when they do show up, or how much time has passed (for them to sober up) (if they act all innocent or have an amazing story, they are snowing you).

        5) Obviously for repeat offenses, you’ve got a drug problem and rehab should be in order. Lots of great rehab can be done outpatient, it works much like regular weekly counseling only with parental involvement to randomly drug test or breathalyze and keep the teen honest.

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