Molly and MDMA-Based "Club Drugs" are Causing Heatstroke and Death
Club drugs are a group of synthetic psychoactive drugs that are capable of stimulating the central nervous system and forming hallucinations. They are drugs with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties which have become popular in parties, and raves due to the alterations in perception and mood that they trigger. There are various forms of club drugs – two of which are the central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and the recreational drugs which alter sight and sound perception. These have opposite effects in the brain of the person. CNS depressants such as GHB, and rohypnol lower blood pressure and heart rate while hallucinogens like Molly and ecstasy increase these parameters.
Addiction and Intake
These drugs are usually swallowed as pills, mixed with alcohol in powder form, or injected. What was thought to be harmless has been proven to have adverse long term effects in the brain. Contrary to popular belief that these drugs are non-dependable, the presence of various compounds such as methamphetamine actually makes them highly addictive, and reliance on these substances have negative effects in various brain function. After a weekend of taking these drugs, for example, one would feel terrible sadness which can last longer than a day up to weeks, to some people. This phenomenon is famously called “Suicide Tuesday” wherein strange feelings of darkness and depression engulf the person due to the sudden drop of endorphins in the body.
Molly, theoretically, is a recreational drug that’s purely 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA – the active ingredient in another drug known as ecstasy. It was invented in 1912 by a German Company as an appetite suppressant, but now man has found more uses of it. It can alter the mood and perception of a person through boosting the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the body. This increase in serotonin also increases the body temperature, thus those who took this drug are more prone to heatstroke and dehydration. Side effects of MDMA include euphoric highs and feelings of warmth and empathy which only last for hours. After some time, the taker will feel these feelings fade and be left with irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and aggressive behaviour. Other outcomes may be:
- Teeth clenching
- Blurred vision
- Anxiety attack
- Rapid eye movement
- Erectile dysfunction (in men)
The high body temperature can also cause overheating, and heatstroke which may lead to multiple organ failure in the body. Long term effects of this drug include:
- Severe anxiety
- Decreased appetite
- Serious brain dysfunction, especially in the parts that are involved in cognition and memory
A lot of recent researches and investigations show that the Molly pills that are acquired by people at parties are not 100% MDMA. Instead, it is mixed with other compounds and amphetamines which increase the risk of danger when taking it. The mixture of substances that is substituted in molly can lead to further complications and side effects. One compound that has been found to be incorporated in Molly is a very potent form of amphetamine which is called PMA which can be lethal, even with only one dose. Other compounds found in Molly pills are
Other recreational club drugs that are commonly used by many are:
- Caffeine, etc.
- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) which alters visual and sound perception. It can cause paranoia, confusion or panic.
- Amphetamines which are stimulant drugs that increase serotonin and dopamine in the body, creating feelings of euphoria and fatigue resilience.
- Cannabis, or Marijuana, obtained from plants which gives momentary waves of euphoria, depending on the dosage.
- Ecstasy, a recreational drug that can trigger emphatic emotions of one person to another, with MDMA as an active ingredient. It is also capable of bringing about hallucinations, higher body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, and hyperactivity.
Central Nervous System depressants are commonly used as sedatives or tranquilizers which can slow down brain activity. Although these drugs are administered to patients who require it, some people have found ways to acquire it for recreational use. Some of these substances, such as rohypnol, ketamine, and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) are also known as date-rape drugs. They are used in drug-facilitated sexual assault, usually in bars or clubs. They are mixed with alcohol and when drank can incapacitate victims, disabling them from resisting assault. These drugs can also trigger short-term memory loss. At low dosages, these depressants relax a person, and make them feel better. The aftereffects of such substances, however, include the following:
Overdosage and long exposure or continuous intake of these substances can lead to:
- Difficulty in breathing and movement
- Loss of consciousness
- Liver failure
- Low body temperature
Legality and Loopholes
In July 2012, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 has been passed by Congress, banning 26 different compounds and making them illegal in the United States; however, chemists have found a way to alter the compound composition without compromising its effects. This change causes the new substance to be legal because it is a new compound, yet having the same outcome, potentially even more dangerous because of the alteration, as the original one.
Know the risks
In the end, it is very important to know the pros and cons of taking recreational drugs as they have severe long term effects that will cause many problems in the future. As a popular song goes, “You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain”, in the end, only one can decide whether the hallucinations, and sound perceptions are worth it. The temporary bliss and state of mind will always be just that – temporary; one can never reach that level of thinking or imagination on their own since they are provoked by sudden rush of endorphins that enable the brain to think the way it did. When the music fades, lights dim, and highs go down, all that one will be left with is the cold feeling that comes with Suicide Tuesday. Will the few hours of fun be worth the tomorrow filled with aggression, insomnia, seizures, memory problems, or even death?