(KMOV) – A designer drug made popular in song lyrics is blamed for causing two overdose deaths in New York over the weekend.
The pill, called “Molly” has become the drug of choice for many people between the ages of 18 and 25.
The drug in question is MDMA, or “molly”—a more pure, more potent form of ecstasy that police say claimed the lives of 23-year-old Rochester, N.Y., native Jeffrey Russ and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo of Providence, R.I.
“Kids will often think of this as a very benign drug, and that is scary,” said Dr. Damon Raskin, an addiction specialist.
Raskin said the drug lowers inhibitions, giving the user a sense of euphoria. This high gives way to a crash resulting in anxiety and depression.
“They will often mix ecstasy with other drugs, especially at parties, like alcohol and marijuana,” Raskin said. “I think that the combination of these drugs makes them all the more toxic.”
“From what I hear, it’s better than ex. Pure natural MDMA,” said a University City resident.
Madonna announced at a show in Miami, “I have a question, has anyone here seen Molly?”
In 2011, hospitals reported more than 22,000 MDMA-related emergency room visits—a 120 percent increase from 2004, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.
The club drug has made its way back into popularity, thanks in part to its glamorization in music and youth culture.
This is the third death in less than a week. A 19-year-old New Hampshire woman overdosed in Boston last week at a Zedd concert. One of some 40 artists forced to cancel appearances on Sunday.
Part of the attraction is its low cost and the fact it can be taken as a pill, snorted or mixed with drinks.
“People have to be aware that this is extremely dangerous. And when we’re talking about the age of the users, we’re not talking about people who have a lot of experience with drugs,” Lt. Det. Robert Merner said.