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Be on the alert for the word Molly. It's the name for a recreational drug popular in today's club scene.
It's glorified by some high-profile entertainers. Miley Cyrus references the drug in her song "We Can't Stop": "We like to party, dancing with Molly, doing whatever we want."
The singer Madonna asked at a recent concert audience, "How many of you have seen Molly?" (Although when questioned about it she denied she was speaking about the drug and was instead referring to an actual person.)
Molly, short for molecule, is the newest form of the recreational drug Ecstasy. It creates a feeling of euphoria and is very popular at techno clubs, raves and other concert-type events. Most users foolishly believe it is safe, non-addictive and without side effects.
But that is not true. It's being linked to a string of overdoses, even deaths.
Over the Labor Day weekend, a dance music festival in New York City ended early after the deaths of two young people, 23-year-old Jeffery Russ and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo.
"I just took six hits of molly,'' Rotondo reportedly told an EMS worker before collapsing in a seizure and dying.
Molly causes the body temperature to skyrocket to 105-106 and makes individuals more prone to heat stroke.
The huge multi-day "Electric Zoo Music Festival" was shut down after concert organizers learned the victims died after taking the drug Molly.
Concert-goers were surprised to learn of the deaths. One unidentified audience member was quoted as saying, "Musta got a bad batch, or something happened bad, you know, you don't usually hear stuff about people dying over that kind of stuff."
The most recent government statistics about Molly date back to 2009, and its popularity has exploded since then. But even four years ago, government data reported nearly 23,000 emergency room visits due to Molly overdoses, which was a 123 percent increase from 2005.
In addition to the two deaths at the Labor Day concert, four others were rushed to the hospital for overdosing on Molly. They are expected to survive.
A week earlier, in Boston, a 19-year-old girl died of a suspected overdose following a concert. In June, a man died and dozens more were treated for overdosing on molly at a music festival in Washington state.
According to Dr. Jayson Calton, "While the drug makes you love life, it can also make you lose life."
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