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'Molly' Drug Use on the Rise, Health Officials Warn of Risks

Update Date: Sep 25, 2013 05:04 PM EDT

The club drug "Molly," touted as a pure capsule of the hallucinogen Ecstasy, is growing in popularity among young adults but health officials are warning potential drug users of the dangers tied to Molly.

Medical experts at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the Drug Enforcement Administration said they  normally sees about 30 to 40 exposures a year, but in 2011, there were almost twice as many cases, according to KOB-TV .

"The issue is that these drugs have a tendency to cause the person to take one dose, then not realize it," said New Mexico Poison Control Jess Benson. "They take another, and another, and another. Eventually they wind up overdosing."

Molly its name from the word "molecule," the substance was originally concocted as a powdered form of MDMA - the euphoria-inducing main chemical in ecstasy.

Last month, a 14-year-old teenage girl overdosed on the drug after taking the drug at a foam party.

According to USA Today, health officials say many "Molly" users are paying a premium for the drug and are instead getting something else in return which is leaving them sick.  In 2003, the DEA issued a safety advisory for "Molly" after police learned that dealers were selling it in high schools and raves.

"Just because it says Molly on the label, that means nothing," DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said. "Molly can be whatever the drug dealer wants it to be. There are hundreds of different synthetic drugs out there. They look a lot alike and they are marketed alike."

Molly's popularity - and the growing number of illnesses attributed to it - has caught the attention of Congress. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has proposed a law that would tighten the regulation of synthetic drugs, including K2, Spice, Molly and "bath salts," which mimic the effects of Ecstasy, PCP, LSD and marijuana.

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