molly pills

Molly Drug – Ecstasy or Angst?

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

The molly drug phenomenon continues to sweep the young, party going, concert going, clubbing crowd with many users believing the tablet or power they are taking is pure MDMA with its purported associated social ‘benefits’.

If you are of this mindset, please think again. We will touch on why later in the article, but let’s first take a look at the history, the effects and the constant rise in popularity of this drug.


What is in a name?

As with all recreational substances the molly drug has established a host of nicknames. Just 10 of these are X, E, or XTC, Disco Biscuits, Dancing shoes, E-bomb, Hug Drug, Smartees, Vitamin E or Vitamin X. Rest assured there are many more. As and aside, the nickname ‘Molly’ is understood to be an abbreviation of ‘Molecule’.


Virtually Dormant for more than 6 decades:

The German pharmaceutical giant Merck patented MDMA in 1913, although no ‘use’ was stated on the patent, it is understood it was to be marketed as a weight loss aid, however this plan was shelved and Merck had nothing more to do with its promotion.

Fast forward to the early 1980’s when MDMA came to the attention of “The Godfather of Ecstasy”, the renowned American chemist Alexander Shulgin who ‘re-discovered’ its mind altering properties and pioneered research into its use. It has to be said he also researched, created and experimented with hundreds of other mind altering substances, and was certainly an expert in this field.

MDMA was officially banned in the United States in 1985. The DEA placing it on Schedule 1 which meant it could not be manufactured, used on prescription or further researched.


Underground Laboratories:

Where there is money you will always find a market, and the molly drug as it is now popularly known began being produced in illegal laboratories throughout the western world.

While the earliest laboratories may well have used pure MDMA this has long since been replaced by ingredients that can potentially do you more harm than good.

Obviously, such a market needs a ‘glamourous and safe’ image and these illegal drug peddlers have certainly continued a very effective ‘marketing’ programme. So much so that many current users think they are getting MDMA when in fact there are no traces whatsoever in the pills and powder illegally produced.

Please do not think the individuals involved in the production and distribution of such illegal substances have your health at heart, it is your wallet they are after!


What’s the deal?

Due to the imagination of the illegal manufacturers there is no such thing as standard replacement ‘ingredients’ for MDMA. Indeed that molly drug you have just purchased will in all likelihood contain:

. Substances with psychoactive properties that are designed to mimic MDMA effects such as “Sass” (MDA – Methylene-dioxyamphetamine).

. “Bath salts” (this is a generic term for a class of amphetamine-like stimulants known as synthetic cathinones).

. Stimulants such as caffeine, methamphetamine, amphetamine or cocaine.

. More rarely used, but have been detected are anesthetics such as “Special K” (Ketamine) or “DXM” (Dextromethorphan, which is used in over the counter cough medicines).

So, as you can see, you are generally not getting what you think you are paying for.


Self/Community testing:

For the young users reading this article, this section will probably seem complete overkill, but the fact is, if you are risking your health for a good time, surely it would pay to know exactly what your latest drug date consists of.

This can be achieved with the use of self-test kits. While no such kit can provide evidence of the quantity or quality of certain ingredients contained in the drug in your possession it does indicate the presence of various substances. This is achieved from scraping the drug and dissolving it in the solutions provided with the kit.

This is surely worth consideration, because as has already been mentioned; the producers of such drugs do not have, and never will have your health, or the possible detrimental effects their product can cause at the heart of their ethos.

Desired effect:

The truth is, in the vast majority of cases, whatever is being put into your pill seems to do the trick. Testimony to this is the continuing and consistent popularity of such drugs. Particularly at Raves, Concerts, Clubs and All-night parties.

Users describe a feeling of euphoria, they are more confident, open and accepting, indeed many report feeling at ease and unafraid. Regular anecdotes confirm users feeling totally connected to those around them.

These feelings are undoubtedly enhanced and stimulated due to the visual, sound, touch and smell sensation such environments bring. This adds to the feel good factor and encourages users to lose many inhibitions. They feel the urge to dance, talk incessantly and prone to being much more ‘touchy, feely’.



In terms of drug use where there is an up, you are guaranteed to find a down.

During and after a molly drug experience many users report unstoppable jaw-clenching, tooth-grinding, chills or sweats, muscle tension and even faintness.

A common sign someone is on a ‘trip’ can be seen in the dilation of their pupils, and their inability to stay still for any reasonable period of time.


Bottom line:

It is far too simple, and in all honesty, very condescending to state that you should not even consider taking that molly drug your friends are raving about. It is however, very wise to know what you are letting yourself in for, what risks you are taking and how it could affect you.

We have all seen the headlines “Ecstasy Kills”, and in a small number of cases it does, but let’s be honest; even one death is one too many.

If you are determined to swallow or snort something that could harm, and that is illegal, which could lead to a whole set of law enforcement headaches, then at the very least be informed, avoid mixing your ‘hit’ with alcohol or other drugs and make sure you keep your body well hydrated.

Your Child – The Addict

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Parents are burdened by raising their children up to be respectable human beings, to guard them, keep them safe and protect them from the dangers of life. There is a huge responsibility that comes along with raising a child. When children begin to make poor choices, parents typically feel guilty and start to blame themselves. They tell themselves they were not good parents, or they have let their children down. Parents beat themselves up over the choices their children make. Although parents do make some mistakes in raising their children, ultimately, the decision to use drugs is ultimately his choice.

If you have a child who is addicted to drugs, here are some things to consider.

First ask yourself these questions: Are you an enabler? Yes, you love your kid, but do you give into things you should not because of their drug use? Do you do give in just so they or you will feel better about it? Are you allowing your daughter to continue bleeding your funds dry just because you feel guilty?

The first step to helping your child, is to understand you cannot fix this issue. This dilemma is something only your kid can fix. Many times parents like to try to fix problems for their children because it is what they have done since their children were little, but after our children grow up, they have to learn to solve problems on their own. If they have chosen to use drugs, then they are the only ones who can determine whether or not to stop using. If, as a parent, you are trying to fix your child’s drug abuse for your kid, you will only end up failing and frustrated.

Second, you must realize that addicts are liars. Even your child. It is hard to hear, but addicts do and say anything to get their drugs. It may not be conscious or intentional deceit, but their mind has become so addicted to the drug, they will do anything to obtain more of it. They are also dishonest to try to hide their addiction from you, their parent. They are ashamed of their drug use. They know you raised them differently, so they lie to hide it from you. It is best to put safety guards in place to protect yourself from your child’s lack of truth regarding his drug abuse. You can help them as much as you feel comfortable, but when you feel yourself become uneasy or questioning motives, it is time to reconsider why you are helping them. You can offer help and other services, but do not blame yourself if they choose not to follow through with your advice.

Next, remember addicts are criminals. Using drugs is illegal. There is a possibility your daughter may go to jail for her addiction. Many times parents can justify many reasons why their child should not go to jail or should not have legal trouble for their drug abuse, but if we, as parents, compare our child’s troubles with others, we are quick to persecute them and want them prosecuted, but not so willing to do so when it comes to our own child.

Furthermore, homelessness could potentially be a part of your child’s life. Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is allow our child to suffer the consequences of the choices he has made in order for him to fully experience the effects that go along with those decisions. It is hard getting phone calls asking for help, longing to help so badly in your heart, but choosing to stand your ground and allow your child to fully experience the consequences of his decisions will aid him in the long run. Setting limits may be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but choosing to not enable your child will help him face the facts of his addiction. You must remind yourself and your child these choices were made by him and not you.

It is important to acknowledge that your child has hurt others in addition to you. Those people might not be as eager to forgive your child as you are willing. As parents, we love our children unconditionally, so we are inclined to forgive them over and over again, but many people do not love our child the same as we do. Therefore, they may not be as willing to forgive your child. Continue to love your child, but refrain from getting upset with others who are not in the same place as you.

Keep in mind this article is not to tell you to stop loving your child, to put down your parenting techniques or to give up on your child. It is simply meant to ask you to open your eyes and be prepared for the reality that stares you in the face every single day. It is so hard being a parent of someone who abuses drugs. Keep loving your child, but do not enable them so they continue using drugs. It is okay to set boundaries and hold your child accountable for her actions. These truths will allow you to be there for your child when she is ready to step out of her addiction as well.

Nitrous Oxide Abuse on the Rise in United States and Abroad

Education, United States

Nitrous-Oxide-Abuse-on-the-Rise-in-United-States-and-AbroadThe common name for nitrous oxide is “laughing gas.” Often used by dentists to reduce anxiety, it has been the subject of spoofs on stage and television. It also has been used to ease the pain of childbirth. The very name makes it sound like fun: take a whiff, kick back, start a giggle fit, and enjoy. That oversimplification belies the fact that nitrous oxide abuse is on the rise internationally. Illegal use of the drug, while perhaps not yet common, has the potential to become a serious health risk. Media reports show use and abuse of nitrous oxide is on the rise, particularly at concerts, raves and on college campuses. Dealers often sell balloons filled with nitrous oxide. It also is easy to obtain nitrous oxide cartridges from aerosol cans on grocery store shelves.

Nitrous Oxide Mistakenly Seen As Safe “High”

Britain, in particular, is experiencing a rapid rise in the abuse of nitrous oxide, which social media sites are calling “hippy crack.” Some reports estimate the number of users in the millions. Users have the mistaken notion that nitrous oxide abuse is safe and legal; nevertheless, officials continue to confiscate large numbers of “laughing gas” canisters across the nation. Health professionals are concerned that misinformation on the Internet is glamourizing the use of nitrous oxide.

Abuse of Nitrous Oxide Can Have Serious Consequences

Misuse of nitrous oxide can have tragic consequences because it enters the bloodstream rapidly. Someone who uses it can become unconscious and quit breathing quickly. Death can occur when abusers continue to seek an increased “high” by repeated inhalation in a confined space in a short amount of time. Nitrous oxide can cause lack of motor control, so users risk dangerous falls. In some cases, people can exhibit symptoms that resemble seizures after inhaling too much nitrous oxide.

Spotting Symptoms of Nitrous Oxide Abuse Could Save a Life

Nitrous oxide abuse has observable symptoms. Abusers often break open aerosol cans to find the cartridges and then try to hide the cans. Physical symptoms include nerve damage and anemia. Lack of oxygen in the bloodstream also depletes vitamins, including B12. Abusers may begin to lose weight because of experiencing nausea and appetite loss.

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White House Recently Met to Discuss America’s Opioid Crisis

Articles, Education, International, United States

White House Recently Met to Discuss America's Opioid CrisisOn June 19, the White House held a summit conference on Opioids, hosted by Office of National Drug Control Policy Acting Director Michael Botticelli. Calling the opioid problem in America an epidemic, Mr. Botticelli—himself a recovering alcoholic—introduced Attorney General Eric Holderer and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who discussed possibilities for new ways to view drug addiction and offered their thoughts on how policy changes could be effected that could stem the tide of drug abuse.

Among the items discussed was the potential for saving lives with the drug naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose and prevent respiratory arrest. Statistics were given indicating a fourfold increase since 1999 in annual deaths attributable to prescription pain medications (twofold for heroin). Doctor Nora Volkow, Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, gave a brief talk on the latest research into addiction.

To watch videos of the presentations, click on the following links:

  • Opening Session
  • Rx Drug and Heroin Epidemic in the States
    Robert Morrison, Executive Director, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD)
  • Panel I – Prevention, Intervention and Treatment
    Dr. Hillary Kunins, Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner, Division of Mental Hygiene, Assisting Commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH); Dr. Traci Green, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology, Brown University; Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Panel II: Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention
    Nancy Hale, Program Director, Operation UNITE; Dr. Michelle Lofwall, Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Dr. Ed Bernstein, Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Addiction Research
    Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Heroin Epidemic in the US

Education, United States

heroin epidemic in the usAccording to data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in the US, heroin use in that country doubled between 2007 and 2012. The governor of the state of Vermont proclaimed a “full-blown heroin crisis” in a speech earlier this year. Deaths by overdose in his state doubled last year.

Unlike the traditional demographic for addiction—disproportionately the urban poor—today’s heroin epidemic is no respecter of boundaries: young or old, rich or poor, black or white, urban or rural, all can be affected as individuals and communities. This is because the path to addiction has undergone a fundamental change over the last twenty years.

Traditionally, heroin addiction was the last stop in a cycle of abuse that usually started with alcohol and marijuana. Users would escalate the abuse cycle with sleeping pill abuse (mixing them with alcohol), speed (often starting with prescription diet pills), and perhaps hallucinogens. Most young people weren’t exposed to heroin until they were fairly entrenched in the culture of drug use.

According to a US news broadcast—an NBC multi-part special on America’s heroin epidemic—the path to heroin is now shorter and quicker, and it begins with prescription pain pills. In the late 90s and the first decade of this century, medications like Vicodin and Oxycodone became abundantly available, and young people quickly embraced the powerful and—at the time—cheap high that they afforded. Meanwhile, the threshold for determining the level of pain needing these treatments was lowered and more of the medications were prescribed. “Pill mills” sprang up all over the country, from rural areas in Virginia and Kentucky—where the drugs were nicknamed “hillbilly heroin”—to middleclass neighborhoods in the suburbs. High school and college students, stay-at-home moms, white-collar workers, and high-profile professionals and entertainers found themselves trapped in dependency, whether they started out getting high or medicating real pain.

From one perspective, it was clear that more pills were being manufactured than were needed for legitimate medical purposes, and that the surplus was being diverted to an illegal market. Profit was available at all levels, from the street all the way up to bulk theft at the wholesale level. Ultimately, law enforcement cracked down on the pain pill phenomenon, and the natural consequence was that prices went up, creating—ironically—a demand for something cheaper.

Enter heroin, with all its attendant dangers and complications. For the user, needles, HIV, hepatitis, potentially lethal adulterants, and a new brand of criminal to deal with for access; for law enforcement, following the trail of street dealers up the food chain to international smuggling rings that are often also involved with guns and dangerous cartels.

Public awareness and treatment are being emphasized, along with law enforcement, to try to stem the flow of narcotics, especially to young people. Policies are being examined, and the trend is toward drug diversion programs, wherein addicts are referred to treatment rather than incarcerated.