Subscribe to our Podcast.
A few weeks ago Brian and I (Molly) talked about the way that mainstream media covers the other “molly,” aka MDMA, aka “pure” Ecstasy. For example, The New York Times Style section covered its growing use among “health conscious” people, without noting the fact that it is a Class 1 drug. It seemed to us like when a drug is trendy and being used by mostly white, mostly middle-class people, there’s not the same shame and fear associated with it. Would we ever see a Style article about crack use?
So following that one of our listeners, NY Expat and I kept the conversation going on our Facebook messages. I wanted to share since there is a lot more links and info on the effects of the drug and the way the media covers it. NY Expat is indented, I am back to left margin.
The “MDMA causes brain damage” line that Molly parroted has been viewed very skeptically by the scientific community. This article does a good job of separating facts from scare tactics. (As an added bonus, the two comments at the end demonstrate the best and the worst of Internet commenting)
To summarize: Frequent use drops serotonin levels (since it blocks re-uptake), but after about a year of non-use they return to normal. Other effects can’t be determined because the studies that cry out “Drugs’R Bad” are observational, so they don’t know if it’s the MDMA or the alcohol, cocaine, meth, etc.
That last point does lend credence to Molly’s other point: Purchasers don’t know if they’re actually getting MDMA. Back in the ’90s there were kits sold online that claimed to test to confirm MDMA content, but you end up in a circular argument about how you can trust the manufacturer of the kit. It’s almost as if we need an overarching body that can act as an arbiter of purity in our foods and drugs. Eh, I’m sure there’s a Libertarian solution we can use instead.
To mind, the problem with MDMA isn’t the after effects, it’s the effects *during* use: Increased body temperature, but an inability to sweat, and extreme sensitivity to room temperature. It is not to be trifled with, and if you don’t know what you’re doing it can be quite dangerous. There are simple precautions you can take (dress appropriately for your immediate climate; drink lots of water; don’t interact with other hard drugs). I’d much prefer an informed discussion than simply “Ohmygod, brain damage!
Hey NYC ExPat,
I left for NYC right after your message and speaking of NYC and MDMA coverage, did you read that the Electric Zoo Festival’s last day was canceled? Two young people died of MDMA related symptoms, no final word on what exactly, but there was this NY media frenzy Sunday morning with a coda on Tuesday that most people missed: apparently a young woman was raped and over 30 people were arrested the day the people died. So you’re right, the panic over a particular drug’s existence and effects really distracts from other issues.
The only guaranteed pure Molly
Ugh: ”the young girl woke up on Friday under a van in a parking lot with her pants undone and bruises and scratches on her legs. She was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, where it was determined she had been sexually assaulted.”
The 30+ arrests seems unremarkable; Lolla had 46.
I hold out some hope that the reporting will balance out. If you Google only “Woodstock 99” you get reports about the sexual assaults there at the top of the page. (WaPo, SFGate, Salon).
BTW, in the course of looking up what happened, I stumbled another interesting link. MDMA could also cause kidney problems due to too *much* water (and not enough sodium).