There was an article in the Los Angeles Times a few months ago about
addiction. This is not uncommon, but this particular article never mentioned
the word addiction. Instead it talked
about the new drug, Molly, as a lifestyle choice for those that live in the fast
lane. It was described as a byproduct of the Generation of Me coming of age.
It reports that Emergency Room visits
are up 120% in the period from 2004-2011 due to the use of Molly, aka Mandy,
aka Ecstasy or X, aka MDMA. So essentially, new generation, new name. We can
refer back to a number of respected organizations, including the National
Institute for Drug Abuse Drug Facts (December 2012), for the facts relating to
this group of drugs, as well as drugpolicy.org, drugabuse.gov,
and drug free.org. These organizations serve to collect
data on drug use and abuse trends and indeed highlight the rise of Molly and
the history of this classification of drug.
The desire to stay high, be on, keep
your edge, forget about your problems, fears, and anxieties remains much the
same from generation to generation. For Molly, it appears that its combination
of stimulant and hallucinogenic is the primary lure. And, as is true with many
drugs, Molly is laced or cut with a variety of things, such as caffeine,
methamphetamine, cocaine, and salts of various kinds. Since it is primarily a
street drug, the reality of the effects and its potential harm is difficult to
measure. But we know that the drug produces alarming effects on the body’s
neurochemistry. Users matter-of-factly describe the high, taking more or other
drugs to avoid the crash, and the lack of sleep it causes.
The touted premise is that if you wish
to stay competitive in today's fast-paced world, you need a little help, and
that help is Molly. It appears in the lyrics of songs by numerous contemporary
artists, as well as those who strive to remain contemporary. The sex, drugs,
and rock-‘n’-roll attitude has always been a part of each generation with
different drugs au currant. Whether
it was heroin, cocaine, or Molly the mentality remains the same.
have changed are the levels of anxiety that we live with every day. Our
fear-based world, fueled by the recent economic meltdown and two major wars, contributes
dramatically to the societal stress we all feel. Part of what fuels the
societal anxiety is reality-based and therefore hard to combat. Each generation
has had to incorporate certain generational anxiety – some based on disease,
war, or economics, to name a few contributors.
Today's generation of young people are faced with the world
of technology with its double-edged sword. We have unlimited information
available that leads to anxiety about what we have as yet to uncover. And the
marketplace today is indeed faster-paced; we live in the world of Internet where
there is always more to know, to understand, to keep track of, and pace with. The
side effect of the Internet is the anxiety that if we unplug for even a brief
period of time, we lose our edge or our ability to be competitive. It is in
part this belief that has some people looking for a way to keep their edge through
The total lack of awareness of the
physical effects of the use of Molly is apparent: there exists the need to stay
high but to still “be chill”. The appeal of Molly is that the stimulant aspect
keeps them from “acting like a stoner” and stay in the game. At the same time
the hallucinogenic component allows them to feel the euphoria.
There is no doubt that we live in a
pharmaceutical-based society. For example, next time you sit down to watch TV,
take note of the number of ads that you see for medication to treat any ailment
of any kind. And while you watch a TV show, either comedy or drama, take note
of the number of times the characters are drinking alcohol as part of the
stated dialogue or as just something that is being done while the dialogue
occurs. In this exercise it is evident that we live in a world that soothes,
celebrates, and self-medicates with drugs and alcohol. What has become alarming
is that it appears that we have come to accept this as the way of the world.
And while indeed we have made great
strides in treating many illnesses and diseases through the advancement in
medical research, there exists a disconnect between medically based illness and
what ails you emotionally. One of the most common contributors to physical
illness is stress and anxiety; self-medicating to ease this stress and anxiety
jeopardizes their physical wellbeing to the point of being deadly.
The use of Molly is both the symptom
and the solution. A frightening solution, to be sure, because it destroys through
overdose, psychosis, and addiction. The question remains: is the use of Molly
(or X or MDMA) inevitable in each generation? And how can we help people
realize that they are headed down a path of self-destruction?
Education and awareness, education and
awareness, education and awareness – these are the keys. People have an
infinite ability to grow and change – I have seen many addicts and their
families go on to lead happy, healthy lives over the past 30 years that I have
worked with those struggling in addiction. There is hope.