Castleton found Molly

(Editor’s Note: Because of the sensitive content, names of students in this story were changed.)

Beams of colored lights emerge from the darkness and dance across a haze of smoke. The pit of bodies beneath the stage begins to move in series of trance-like sways. Sweat cascades out of your every pore. With a deep breath your heartbeat becomes synced with the music until the beat drops and the rhythm takes control, powering your pulse.

You popped a Molly and now you’re sweating.

Your blood, trapped within your veins, is threatening to burst from your skin, but you soon forget this rhythmic boil, lost in the illuminated air demanding your gaze.

You popped a Molly and now you’re sweating.

A salty residue builds on the corners of your dried lips and trickles to the rhythm of your eardrums down your neck. The salty drip falls to your saturated tank top sending an electric chill through your bones. A deep breath of rainbow air doesn’t fill your pleading lungs.  The lights are dimming on the entranced crowd.

You popped a Molly and now you’re fading.

According to Simon Moya-Smith of NBC News, Molly is a purer form of the popular 90’s club drug, ecstasy. Although the drug has existed for decades, Molly has recently taken popular culture by storm and is the name lingering on the lips of mainstream artists across an array of genres.  

From Kanye West to Madonna and between Miley Cyrus’ twerks and occasional naked wrecking ball swings, they’re all looking for Molly.

Castleton State College students are not absent from the search for the euphoric appeal of Molly. Data collected in National College Health Assessment sponsored by the American College Health Association last spring revealed that three percent of Castleton students use the drug one to five times a month and that 10 percent have tried it at some point, said Coordinator of Campus Wellness Education Jamie Bentley.

“It honestly is like ridiculous the way it makes you feel,” said Castleton’s Keith Davis. “It makes you feel immortal.”

But Molly is far from a prescription for immortality. After the exhilaration and enticing lights, Molly is proving to be a stone-cold killer.

On Sept. 23, U.S Sen. Charles Schumer of New York announced his plans to formulate a ban on the chemicals used to make the drug.

“This summer there have been a rash of overdoses of the drug, which is commonly used at festivals-three of which, in New York City, were fatal,” he said.

According to a New York Times story, Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., and Olivia Rotondo, 20, of Providence, R.I., were pronounced dead after collapsing with high body temperatures at New York City’s Electric Zoo festival over Labor Day weekend. McKinley said the medical examiner’s office and law enforcement officials confirmed the cause of death in both cases to be related to Molly.     

Additionally, NBC news reported that since 2004, emergency room visits related to the drug have doubled and that the string of overdoses in recent months has health departments concerned for future trends.

When it seems Molly is holding the keys to the hearse, many would be inclined to ask: Why?

“In 20 years I’ll look back and say I was a stupid kid, but God damn, I had fun,” laughed Davis.

Other Castleton students had a more difficult time explaining their decision to try the drug. In the end, it seemed to be the rush of Molly’s mystery that drew them in.

“I don’t know,” said Castleton’s Aaron Denim. “It is pretty sketchy. But then you’re like ‘Well I want to try it.'”

For student John Stars, his elated emotions and physical desires to touch everything while on the drug are what provoke him to keep calling Molly.

“Everything’s nice, man,” he laughed. “Anything is fun, really. I mean you can make a party, a party.”

Molly can take various forms as well as be consumed through different methods. As a powder it can be licked or just applied to the gums and ingested orally or it can also be snorted producing the quickest high.

Molly can also be taken or “popped” as a pill or when in a rock form it can also be put into alcohol and left to dissolve into the drink.

Those using the drug need to be aware that it is often “cut” or mixed with other drugs, such as, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other toxins.

Castleton Senior and Wellness Center Intern, Gabe Aguilar, said the cutting of drugs, like Molly, is what makes them constantly evolve.

“They’re always changing,” he said. “It’s hard to educate when we’re just finding out about these drugs.”

According to Aguilar and Bentley, Castleton’s Wellness Center is always looking for new ways to educate students on the dangers of these street drugs and takes the initiative to make students aware of campus incidents.

“This has been a topic of discussion in the Wellness Center and amongst my colleagues all over the country,” Bentley said.  “I am in the midst of considering the best avenues of educating students about the drug and the risks involved with consumption.”

Despite the efforts to educate, Aguilar still finds the appearance of Molly on campus to be unsettling even for those not taking the drug.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking to know that they’re on something. You don’t know what they’re feeling. You don’t know what to do,” he said.

Davis, who considers himself a “veteran Molly user,” gave insight to the emotional hangovers produced by Molly, confirming even emotions are not immune to the laws of physics and what goes up really must come down.

“There’s been days when I’ve curled up in a ball and just cried for no reason,” he said.

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