Use and Abuse of MDMA

Thursday, September 05, 2013

drugs sign (Curtis Perry/flickr)

Following the two deaths this weekend at the Electric Zoo music festival that have been linked to the use of the drug MDMA (known as molly or ecstasy) and reports of a "bad batch" of the drug, Stefanie Jones of the Drug Policy Alliance, talks about the various forms of the drug and the dangers of the drug and drug policy.

Comments [18]

Kenneth Berv from Connecticut

Drugs for dancing? These gyrations are more akin to what kangaroos do, or the neurological illness called St.Vitus' Dance than any skilled, organized artistic movements (dance) expressing the melodies and rhythms of music. For that matter, much of what they are "dancing" to is closer to noise than music. In contrast, many nice clubs in NYC close their doors to salsa dancers after a few months of "salsa evenings"-as since they are really dancing, they cannot drink or do drugs to perform so their low bar tabs get them evicted.

Sep. 06 2013 08:49 AM
Penelope Truex from Woodstock

I am kind of amazed that no one seems to know that ex comes from a highly endangered tree which is killed in the process. Maybe Molly is chemically derived,in which case it is better, at least for the environment. We all know there is quite a bit of violence in Drug Karma these days. So now add to that mix,environmental destruction.

Sep. 05 2013 07:19 PM


You make a good point. It illustrates the perceptual double standard between whites and blacks. None of the users that called this morning have any apprehension as to what they're doing because their behavior is tolerated. I think about how many people at E-Zoo were using drugs & how many people got sick (including fatally), yet the drug activity didn't warrant any action from law enforcement. Not one stop and frisk.

Sep. 05 2013 12:43 PM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

Oh bah. Dance music kids of all races end economic bents use MDMA. This has nothing to do with white privilege. If anything, it's those kids taking part as dance music makes its comeback that is the problem. These kids don't have the support of people versed in these drugs because they come from sheltered upbringings, and so have no idea that no person needs to take six hits to have a great time. Any drug carries risk and requires resonsible use- from legal drugs like alcohol and nicotine to illegal drugs like MDMA. Education is the key. Not scare tactics, not "well if you do it you deserve what happens to you", not shaming. I commend the Lehrer show for talking intelligently about drugs and promoting intellectual discourse concerning drug use.

Sep. 05 2013 11:21 AM
steve from NYC

As a college professor I see the need to educate our youth to the dangers of ignorance. If you are going to do anything risky, first find out the consequences before you engage in questionable behavior. Calculated risk is different than risk.
The internet is a good source of knowledge if one is diligent and careful. Sometimes a little knowledge is worse than none at all. As a village we should not be afraid to talk about the risk of inappropriate behavior.
Silence can have negative consequences. Just because we educate about inappropriate behavior does not necessarily condone such behavior.
Stephen NYC

Sep. 05 2013 11:19 AM
John A

"MDMA can trigger really negative effects in those with a predisposition with those with bipolar or depressive qualities, especially bad for schizophrenics."
Seems to be the crowd that is particularly attracted to it, which if true (have only nonscientific evidence) would be pretty awful.

Sep. 05 2013 11:14 AM
Lars from Brooklyn

Seems like the MDMA now is cut with scary stuff-and to think it was a concern in the 80s and 90s that some ecstasy might be cut with speed! Yes, 80's--contrary to what the interviewee said, ecstasy did not arrive in the US "10 or 15" years ago. Just because she was too young to remember doesn't mean it didn't exist before that!

Also, I think it's a disservice to not address the serious side effect of even pure MDMA: as it messes with serotonin levels, even the purest MDMA can lead to severe problems with depression later on.

Sep. 05 2013 11:13 AM

I've done ecstasy. Never felt calmer and more 'connected' to my spouse but that was over 25 years ago. I'd love to see it 'decriminalized' but don't want to see it as a part of every day life.

Check out the Robert Altman segment of the movie 'Aria' for a glimpse of how the drug can affect you.

Sep. 05 2013 11:12 AM

Why isn't meth more popular in the north east?

Sep. 05 2013 11:09 AM

This segment perfectly illustrates white privilege. White callers perfectly comfortable calling up a live radio show to discuss past and CURRENT use of ILLEGAL drugs, as if that were a perfectly normal thing to do. It's ridiculous; this kind of nonsense does not deserve air time, and these drug using fools, who take this stuff for recreation, deserve whatever happens to them. I'm disgusted by this segment; who cares if a bunch of spoiled people hurt themselves taking something that they shouldn't be taking in the first place.

Sep. 05 2013 11:07 AM
Manny from Brooklyn

Ecstasy tends to be mixed with another drug, either some other amphetamine or a depressant, which is a way that it is marketed differently (and produces different highs). Then there are substances that are mixed in as adulterants which are not marketed, meant to cut the quality and therefore create a wider profit margin, which is why it seems that "Molly" has been increasing in popularity because the understanding is that you are getting more bang for your buck (although the purity of Molly is obviously questionable as well).

Molly can produce great euphoria but with extended use it can aggravate depression or cause great anxiety on the come down.

MDMA can trigger really negative effects in those with a predisposition with those with bipolar or depressive qualities, especially bad for schizophrenics. But it can be used to treat PTSD.

Sep. 05 2013 11:06 AM

How is this different from Special K, Ketamine? There have been claims of K's use in depression and other problems. Any comment? As stated above would legalization make this safe - without problems?

Sep. 05 2013 11:04 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC


"Cornballs from Jersey on extasy feelin' the effextasy"

Sep. 05 2013 11:01 AM

Street drugs with street drug problems.

No tests for purity - maybe MDMA, may be rat poison. Who knows? Only legalization changes this and brings these drugs into safety but that would put recreational drugs into the governmental regulatory ballpark.


Sep. 05 2013 10:59 AM
jonn knoxx

What is the difference between today's Molly vs. Ecstacy from the 90s??

Sep. 05 2013 10:56 AM
John A

What? People are unable to dance without a drug? Score another against innate abilities, and one for "lameness".

Sep. 05 2013 10:55 AM
Jean from Midtown

"MDMA got you feelin' like a champion...the city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien." Jay-Z from Empire State of Mind

Sep. 05 2013 10:54 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Ecstasy or its new, more powerful variant - Molly, has been a part of youth culture, including dance music for decades.

It's a shame if the entire culture will now be stained by these tragic deaths.

Let's pray that NYC politicians will not exploit the hysteria, the way Giuliani did, and again drive a stake in the heart of the City's recovering dance music scene.

Sep. 05 2013 10:32 AM

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