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Who is ‘Molly?’ UB’s Research Institute on Addictions Knows

RIA’s latest ‘Expert Summary’ provides details of emerging drug

By Cathy Wilde

Release Date: September 11, 2013

“Molly is a new, supposedly purer form of the drug Ecstasy.”
Kimberly Walitzer, deputy director, Research Institute on Addiction

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Following the recent cancellation of a music festival due to fatal overdoses of the club drug “Molly,” the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) has released another in its series of expert summaries to educate the public on this latest drug trend.

“Molly is a new, supposedly purer form of the drug Ecstasy,” says Kimberly Walitzer, RIA’s deputy director. “It’s also known as MDMA for its chemical name, 3-4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine.”

RIA’s expert summary fact sheet on Molly aims to educate the community — including parents, researchers and health care workers — on this emerging drug, which has been making news lately.

Not only was the last day of the Electric Zoo music festival in New York City cancelled due to two deaths and four critical hospitalizations from Molly overdoses, but music artists such as Kayne West, Rihanna and even Miley Cyrus are also frequently featuring Molly in their songs.

According to the latest RIA summary, Molly is regularly found at music festivals and is most often used by people age 16 to 24. It has a false reputation of being “safer” than Ecstasy, which is often combined with other substances, such as caffeine, the diet drug ephedrine or cocaine. However, Molly capsules also have been found to contain dangerous additives, including cathinones (“bath salts”), cocaine, heroin and other substances.

“There is some speculation that additives in Molly capsules may have been partially responsible for the two deaths at the recent Electric Zoo music festival,” Walitzer says.

To download a copy of the expert summary, “RIA Reaching Others: ‘Molly’ Who? The New Ecstasy,” visit:  http://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/ria/PDFs/ES8Molly.pdf

RIA is a research center of the University at Buffalo (UB) and a national leader in the study of alcohol and substance abuse issues. RIA’s research programs, most of which have multiple year funding, are supported by federal, state and private foundation grants. Located on UB’s Downtown Campus, RIA is a member of the dynamic Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and helps promote UB’s strategic focus on research initiatives. 

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