The tingly, high energy, drug called ecstasy isn’t so happy after all.
In fact, the “happy pill”—also known as molly—has become connected to the cause of death of many rave-goers in the ever-thriving US music festival scene. It has become somewhat of a ritual for music festivals, such as Ultra, to be televised for its arrests, overdoses, and even deaths. These hospitalizations and deaths from dehydration and exhaustion all come down to the counter effects of popping a molly.
Many stories of drug-related overdoses have been thrown into the forefront when it comes to music festivals and ecstasy, but is this worthy of continued focus? Absolutely.
This “love drug,” which can be taken in pill form or snorted, has become youth’s substance of choice may induce rushes of happiness and “ecstasy,” but at what costs?
Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat
According to the Los Angeles Times, on March 20, 2015, 22-year-old John Hoang Dinh Vo died after going into cardiac arrest and suffering a possible seizure at Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland Rave. Eighteen year-old Tracy Nyugen died on Aug. 1 after attending the Hard Summer music festival, where she suffered a seizure and became pulseless. Kenani Kaimuloa, 20, died at Electric Daisy after her body temperature reached 109 degrees as she collapsed.
All deaths, which are only a few of the many, were from ecstasy overdoses, the last including cocaine.
But here’s the thing, a lot of ecstasy deaths are caused by popping mollies or mixing it with another substance, which both can lead to dehydration and an overheated body. Thus is the challenge a lot of music festivals are facing. What should be an environment of love, friendship, and having a great time has also turned into a joyous battle zone; a death zone.
What’s so enticing about using molly in such an environment is that the lights are enhanced, the beats hit stronger, the sounds hit all the right spots, and the romanticized environment created by the rave culture and its music entertain the heighten oxytocin levels during a rolling state. “Rolling” is the term that signifies someone is high off of ecstasy.
Unfortunately, young people are focusing so much on the hype that is the heightened euphoria of molly, the music, and the partiers that they forget to take care of themselves. Such behavior results in young teenagers, college students, and young adults overdosing, many of whom experience organ failure and death. Such tragedies become even more likely during those three- to four-day festivals, where many attendees use drugs 24-7 during the event, especially molly.
The Future of the Rolling Brain
MDMA—3, 4-methylendioxy-methamphetamine—is a drug that enhances emotional warmth, pleasure, energy, time perception, as well as inducing a complete sensory overload from the rapid increase and rush of emotions, sounds, and tactile sensations. In the face of such rushes, the brain is firing norepinephrine, increasing one’s heart rate and blood pressure, which is paired with the surge of euphoria from dopamine and sexual arousal. Trust, heightened emotional joy, and emotional closeness are results of a flood of serotonin, due to this drug.
All of this together deem this pill as the “love drug.”
Unfortunately, the adverse effects of ecstasy, besides the health risks previously mentioned, is a kind of empty-headedness for those who managed to survive long-term use. In fact, after long-term use of molly, neurotoxicity, or brain damage caused by exposure to natural or man-made substances, is a common consequence.
Such neurotoxicity entails reduced serotonin levels, serotonin metabolites, and transporters, which means an increase in depressive episodes. Damage to memory and thought processes, as well as negatively affecting critical functions as cognition, sleep, and emotions can lead an ex-molly user to appear empty-headed and “slow” after long-term use. The person can be intelligent, but reaching thoughts and articulating them can become increasingly difficult.
Thus, therein lies a choice: Experience the immense rush of the love drug and deplete hormones while risking eliminating any oxytocin experience. Or choose to avoid ecstasy, feeling oxytocin, joy, and human connectedness for a lifetime; when it’s meant to happen.
Here at Citrus Recovery, we understand how hard it can be to stop any substance in the face of abuse and addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we have specialists waiting and willing to guide you to a life free from active substance abuse, halting further bodily and mental damage. To get help today, call us 24-7 at (844) 318-0073.