4 Important Facts Every Parent Should Know About Molly and Electronic Dance Music
Recently, the media has picked up several stories of Molly-related deaths at electric dance music (EDM) festivals. In 2013, organizers of the popular Electric Zoo festival in New York were forced to cancel the final day of the event after two deaths in the opening days. The victims in these stories are often young and not known as drug users, making the deaths all the more shocking to their parents and friends.
In light of these events, it is important that parents understand more about the pervasiveness of “club drugs” like Molly, a form of MDMA or ecstasy at EDM festivals. Here are some facts to know:
1. Molly is inexpensive.
Teens can buy it for around $15-20 a pill, making it fairly easy to obtain. There have been reports of several dealers willing to sell to anyone at EDM festivals. This combination of high supply and low cost makes it especially important that parents are active in talking to their kids about the drug and its dangers.
2. Many teens view Molly as a “pure” drug and therefore less dangerous.
Molly, no matter its chemical purity, is never safe. Molly combines the effects of a stimulant and hallucinogen, both of which can be dangerous. Furthermore, the drug sold under the name Molly is often laced with other substances, including bath salts, cocaine, and methamphetamines, which can make the drug even more dangerous than it already is in its “pure” form. Based on recent reports, the Molly bought at these festivals is rarely what the dealer claims it is. Teens should be aware of this fact and not have a false sense of security that what they are getting is safe.
3. EDM festivals create conditions which can increase the risk of serious medical consequences.
Our recent blog highlighted the dangers of Molly, including possible death. Molly can also cause nausea, blurred vision and potentially dangerous changes in body temperature and blood pressure. EDM festivals are often crowded, highly stimulating environments, making it difficult to keep track of friends. Attendees can easily get dehydrated; water at these events is often expensive, making it more difficult to stay hydrated and safe. If someone needs help, it can be difficult to find medical personnel.
4. Some festivals are taking action to create safer environments for attendees.
In the wake of two deaths, the 2014 Electric Zoo festival implemented several tactics to combat drug use. Attendees were required to watch an anti-drug Public Service Announcement, water was provided for free, and medical personnel monitored the crowd for signs of trouble. There were no drug-related deaths that year. Though these steps may not be adequate to prevent drug use and consequent medical complications, it is important that organizers are trying to create a safer environment.
Download our "4 Important Facts Every Parent Should Know About Molly and Elecronic Dance Music" infographic here.
Margaret Raskob, MPH
Margaret Raskob is a freelance blogger for CASAColumbia