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Molly Drug Caused Four Overdoses Over Summer, DEA Warns of Dangers

Update Date: Sep 29, 2013 12:34 PM EDT

Club drug "Molly" has increased in popularity over the summer, causing four overdoses and two at an annual electronic festival in New York City, according to Reuters.

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. In the last five years, Molly has made its way into popular culture, helped by references to it in songs by entertainers such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes MDMA as a synthetic, psychoactive drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic properties.  Ecstasy creates feelings of euphoria, increase in emotional warmth and empathy towards others, and heightened energy levels.  MDMA is a popular combination drug, often being used with methamphetamine, cocaine, and ketamine.

In just a few short years, drugs sold under the name "Molly" have "flooded" the market, said Rusty Payne, a spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA says there has even been a 100-fold increase in the combined number of arrests, seizures, emergency room mentions and overdoses - between 2009 and 2012. The DEA also warned that often times other drugs are sold as Molly at a premium to unsuspecting buyers. Molly usually comes in capsules according to USA Today that sell for $8 to $40.

"Just because it says Molly on the label, that means nothing," 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."

The surge in "Molly" drug use has resulted in at least four reported deaths. A 23-year-old Syracuse University graduate and a 20-year-old University of New Hampshire student died on August 31 after taking what they thought was Molly at an electronic music concert.

A University of Virginia student died at a rave in Washington, D.C., the same weekend, after taking what her friends said was Molly. Days earlier in Boston, a 19-year-old woman died in a club and three concert-goers overdosed at the waterfront.

Molly drug has also infiltrated the pop scene after many believed Miley Cyrus' hit song
We Can't Stop" referred to drug use.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she clarified a lyric in her new single in which she sings "dancing with Miley," but many fans misheard the lyric thinking she says "dancing with Molly," in reference to a slang word used for ecstasy. 
"I have an accent! So when I say 'Miley', it must sound like 'Molly,'" Cyrus told Rolling Stone. "You're not allowed to say Molly on the radio, so it obviously says Miley. I knew people were gonna wonder what I'm saying in that song."

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