Molly: A New Name For An Old Drug That’s Getting Into Teens’ Hands

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UPDATED: Wednesday June 26, 2013 7:58 PM

Have you met Molly? She's quite popular.

Whether you have or haven't heard of Molly, your kids may be involved with her.

It's a new name for an old drug, and because of the new name, drug experts say kids think it is safe to use.

And she's made her way into music and pop culture.

Molly is the powdered version of the pill known as "Ecstasy."

Experts say it's popping up among college and high school students across central Ohio.

"It sounds ridiculous to me that people would be rapping about it and stuff,” said a man named Joe, who says a  Molly overdose is what brought him to Maryhaven nearly two months ago.

Joel asked that 10TV News not use his last name. He says he started using ecstasy when he was only 15 years old.

"It has been absolute hell; it has been the worst 10 years of my life," Joel said.

Joel said his life was not always that way.

He grew up in Dublin and says he always loved school.

By the time he got to Dublin Scioto High School, he excelled academically but was shy and had trouble making friends.

It was ecstasy, and later Molly, he says, that gave him confidence.

"Once I took it, I couldn't stop talking to people, you know what I mean.  I was just living in the day. I felt like it was me doing the things I never could do by myself," he said.

Joel says it was a feeling he wanted again and again, and there seemed to be an endless supply as long as he could come up with the cash.

But soon, it wasn't just about building confidence, he was addicted.

“It's scary out there, and it's amazing how easy it is to get something that could potentially kill you," Joel said.

And law enforcement officials say it's not hard for teens to get.

"It's $10.  A seventh-grader can get $10," said Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott.

Scott says his deputies see Molly everywhere - primarily among adolescents, some as young as 12 or 13 years old.

Scott says parents do not realize how accessible this drug can be.

"Our officers buy a lot of it here. It's not super expensive. It’s like $10 per capsule, $100 for a gram," said Scott.

Though the drug may be easy to get, it’s a hard habit to kick.

"If you get a bad batch, it could seriously affect you, even on first use,” said Paul Coleman, the President and C.E.O of Maryhaven, which is a behavioral health care center that specializes in addiction recovery.

Coleman says using Molly just once could lead to a life of problems.

That's because Molly is manufactured specifically for abuse, and its chemical make-up has no legitimate use.

"It's unlike other drugs, such as painkillers, which if used properly, as prescribed, can be helpful to people,” Coleman said. “But Molly is a drug with absolutely no good use; you should never use it. You should never put it in your body.”

And he says the majority of people putting Molly in their body are some of the youngest addicts Maryhaven has ever encountered.

Coleman says while the typical Maryhaven patient is in their early 30s, Molly patients tend to be in their late teens or early 20s.

Another challenge is that it's hard to know exactly what drugs are in their system, because Molly is often mixed with other, unknown drugs.

"No legitimate manufacturer produces it. These are all produced in street labs, either here or overseas. You don't know what's in it,” says Coleman.

And that's what ultimately brought Joel to Maryhaven.

He says he overdosed on a bad batch of Molly three months ago.

"After I used Molly, two, three days went by and I was still feeling the effects of it, and it turns out that it was bath salts," said Joel.

After 10 years of drug use, Joel says that mix was the wake-up call he needed.

"That is what I'm realizing here. My friends died from this, and I'm sure they would give their lives to be back here with us, and I'm still out here doing the same stuff?"

After he completes his resident program, Joel will move on to a six-month, out-patient program.

He says this could be the beginning of becoming sober for good.

"One day at a time," Joel said. "This is the most progress I've had in a long time and spiritually feeling a lot more fit."

Fit enough -- he hopes -- to help prevent someone else from taking a path to using Molly.
 
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