5 Dangerous Side Effects of Molly
‘Molly’ is a popular club drug. It’s the crystal or powder form of MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. Ecstasy or ‘Es’ comes in pill form and may be cut with harmful chemicals or other drugs such as amphetamine (‘speed’). Molly, however, is meant to be pure MDMA.
People selling and taking Molly may believe it’s safe because of its purity, but this isn’t accurate. Molly comes with risks and side effects that are important to know about. You can put yourself in a lot of danger by being reckless with this substance.
Read about five dangerous side effects of Molly that you should be aware of.
1. Molly Alters Brain Chemistry
Molly is associated with feelings of euphoria, empathy, and joy. This is caused by your brain releasing serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine when you take it. These chemicals are in charge of functions such as your mood, pleasure, pain, and sleep. Molly may be generally associated with happy feelings, but not everyone has a positive experience on it. The way it changes your brain means there’s also the risk of feeling paranoia, anxiety, irritability, and anger.
MDMA is also neurotoxic.1 Molly specifically damages the serotonin system in your brain. While the neurons can regenerate after they’ve been damaged, they won’t be in the same form as before. It’s not clear whether MDMA use alone leads to long-term changes in your mental health or cognitive ability.2 But these risks may increase if a large dose is taken or if MDMA is used in a hot environment. Neurotoxicity may also be a risk if the Molly is cut with harmful substances.
2. Molly Causes Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
There are many physical side effects associated with Molly. These include:
- Loss of appetite
- Constant thirst
- Decreased libido
For some ecstasy users, these physical symptoms can last for a week or more.
While high on Molly, people will also ‘gurn’ (known as bruxism), when you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. This can lead to a painful jaw the next day or even cuts inside your mouth or on your tongue or lips. In the long-term, gurning from MDMA can lead to chipped or worn-down teeth.
3. Molly Causes After-Effects
When you take Molly, there is a huge release of serotonin in the brain. This is what gives Molly users that ‘loved up’ feeling. But what goes up must come down. Many ecstasy users find the ‘comedown’ stage quite unpleasant. After the Molly high passes, your brain has a lack of serotonin, causing effects like:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Severe low mood
These effects of ecstasy may be temporary, but if MDMA is abused, the substance can leave you feeling depressed long-term. Some ecstasy users believe that heavy use of Molly has worsened their mental health.3 The research doesn’t clarify whether Molly, in itself, can cause depression. Nonetheless, heavy users may experience long-term depression because of dose, the frequency of use, and other factors not related to Molly itself.
4. Molly Raises Your Body Temperature
One of the most dangerous side effects of Molly is that it raises your body temperature. If a large enough dose is taken, this increase in body temperature can lead to death. Using Molly in a hot, crowded environment—like a club, rave, or festival—can increase the likelihood of brain damage. If the brain damage is severe enough, then heat stroke can follow. This can sometimes be fatal.
If you take Molly at a club, rave, festival, or other hot environment, take breaks for fresh air. Molly can make you want to dance for hours on end, but you should take time to rest too. Dancing for hours in a crowded club on ecstasy will significantly raise your body temperature.
It’s also important to stay hydrated. Always have water with you. There is a danger, though, of drinking too much water. MDMA causes increased water retention in the body. This can lead to the salt in your body becoming extremely diluted, increasing the risk of death. Some users have died as a result of drinking too much water while on Molly.4
5. Molly Can Cause an Overdose
Many people may not think you can overdose from Molly, but you can. If you take too large a dose of MDMA, you may experience overdose symptoms, including:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Feeling faint
- Loss of consciousness
Overdoses can be fatal. It’s not worth binging on MDMA or taking a large amount because you think you’ll have a better time with your friends.
Molly is often thought of as a low risk way to level up the experience of parties, clubs, and festivals, but it can have serious side effects. Always avoid taking large doses. Don’t drink too little or too much water. Avoid hot environments. And be sure to test what you buy. Drugs are sometimes sold as Molly when they’re something completely different. You may unknowingly buy a much more harmful substance or Molly cut with something else. This can lead to nasty reactions and negative effects.
If you or someone you know is taking Molly and doesn’t know how to stop, contact a treatment center like Promises. The addiction professionals there can help.
Neurotoxicity of ecstasy (MDMA): an overview. NCBI website. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20420572 Published August 11 2010. Accessed January 31 2019.
Dose of Science: Is MDMA Neurotoxic for Human Users? https://drogriporter.hu/en/dose-of-science-is-mdma-neurotoxic-for-human-users/ Published February 8 2016. Accessed January 31 2019.
‘MDMA gave me anxiety, depression and panic attacks’. BBC website. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-44615864 Published June 29 2018. Accessed February 13 2019.
This is what happens if you take too much MDMA. BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40403970/this-is-what-happens-if-you-take-too-much-mdma. Published June 26 2017. Accessed February 13 2019.