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Issue 159 - August, 2013 (1st Edition) - Page 20

Circulating Message Warns of Drug Called 'Molly'

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Outline
Widely circulated message tells the story of a mother who found a drug known as "molly" in her 14-year-old son's clothing.

molly drug warning

© Depositphotos.com/ Alexandru Chiriac



Brief Analysis
Molly, a form of the drug MDMA, is real. Molly is popular with teenagers and young adults and is therefore of concern to parents.  The drug is often referenced in youth culture song lyrics.  It is unclear if the story outlined in the message describes a real case or is just a fictional scenario designed to illustrate the potential dangers of the drug.  The usefulness of the warning tends to be diffused by the panicky and convoluted style of the message. Overall, the message does a poor job of disseminating facts about the drug and raising awareness. Nevertheless, parents would do well to learn more about molly as advised in the warning.

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Example
PARENT ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM FORWARD THIS POST BECAUSE I FEEL IT NEED TO BE PASS ON.

THIS DRUG IS CALLED MOLLY! YES THE ONE YOU'RE HEARING MENTIONED IN ALL OF TODAY'S RAP MUSIC. REMEMBER THE D.A.R.E PROGRAM IN SCHOOL..........WELL FACEBOOK PARENTS....THIS IS YOUR FACEBOOK D.A.R.E. PROGRAM. MEET "MOLLY"......YOU CAN SHOOT IT, SNORT IT, SMOKE IT, OR TAKE IT ORALLY. QUICK TRUTH. I'M NOT GOING TO SAY NAMES BECAUSE ITS CONCERNING ONE OF MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS AND SHE JUST WANTED ME TO SHARE HER STORY. WHILE WASHING HER 14 YEAR OLD SONS CLOTHES SHE FINDS A SUBSTANCE IN HIS POCKET THAT AT FIRST GLANCE AND KNOWLEDGE SHE THOUGHT IT WAS COCAINE.......SHE ASKS HIM WHAT IT WAS HE DENIES KNOWING WHAT IT IS.......HE TOLD HER IT WAS NOT WHAT SHE THINK......SO TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT....I HAD A CHANCE TO TALK TO HIM. SO I ASKED...WHERE YOU GET "MOLLY" FROM. HE SAID SCHOOL.......HE'S 14.......I ASKED DID HE KNOW WHAT IT WAS....HE SAID "NOT REALLY". HE TOLD ME HE ONLY USED IT A COUPLE TIMES. WELL 3 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING....HE STOLE HIS MOTHER'S CAR TO GO TO A FRIENDS HOUSE WHO HAD SOME MOLLY AND TOTALLY LOST HIS MOTHER'S ONLY CAR. THE POINT IS THESE KIDS ARE DOING WHATEVER THEY FEEL IS COOL AND WHEN I WAS GROWING UP....SMOKING CRACK WASN'T COOL AT ALL. BUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS MAKING A BIG PUSH TOWARDS THE "MOLLY ERA" AND MUSIC ESPECIALLY HIP-HOP TARGETS KIDS......SO IF YOUR KID IS WALKING AROUND SINGING A SONG ABOUT "MOLLY"....THINK ABOUT IT......"WHEN YOU WERE A KID WOULD YOUR MOM LET YOU WALK AROUND SINGING A SONG ABOUT CRACK"????? I HOPE YOU ALL TAKE THIS POST SERIOUSLY....LEARN ABOUT THIS DRUG......BECAUSE THE 80'S CRACK ERA IS COMING BACK HARD AND IT'S TARGETING TODAY'S YOUTH. JUST AS EVERY PARENT! DON'T OVERLOOK THIS POST AND DON'T SAY NOT MY CHILD..YES YOUR CHILD TOO!! SHARE THIS WITH PARENTS..FB FRIENDS THAT YOU KNOW ARE PARENTS AND RAISE AWARENESS TO THIS ISSUE!! YOU JUST MAY REACH SOMEONE IN NEED

Detailed Analysis


This message, which circulates via social media posts, the blogosphere and email, warns parents of the dangers of a drug known as "molly".  The message tells a story of a mother who found the drug in her 14-year-old son's clothing.

According to the story, the boy later stole and crashed his mother's car while on a mission to procure more molly.  The story laments youth culture's tendency to promote and glorify molly via song lyrics and advises parents to learn more about the drug and share the message as a means of raising awareness of the issue.

The core elements of the message are factual, as discussed below. However, the breathless, ALL CAPS, grammatically challenged, and convoluted nature of the story tends to significantly diffuse its effectiveness as a warning. Due to its styling, many recipients are likely to dismiss the message as just another dubious Internet warning and bin it without further thought.

But, hidden beneath the shouting and the panic, there are some truths worth heeding.  Molly is a real drug. It is a powder or crystalline form of the drug MDMA. MDMA is widely known as ecstasy when sold in tablet form.  Molly is thought by many users to be a more pure – and safer – form of ecstasy, although this belief is largely unfounded.

MDMA, whether taken as ecstasy or molly, is a popular drug at dance parties and raves. A Drug Policy Alliance report on MDMA explains:

People who use MDMA describe themselves as feeling open, accepting, unafraid and connected to people around them. Typically used in social settings, especially among the rave and dance club cultures, MDMA’s effects are stimulated by visuals, sounds, smells and touch. Some people experience nausea at the outset, but after about forty-five minutes, most people report feelings of relaxation and clarity. MDMA causes dilation of the pupils and, often, sensitivity to light. People using MDMA experience heightened sensations and want to intensify these feelings by dancing, talking and touching.
The Drug Policy Alliance report also notes:

Most of MDMA’s potential harms derive from the setting of its use. Although few adverse effects have been reported, hyperthermia – a dangerously high increase in body temperature – is the most common problem related to ecstasy. Hyperthermic reactions result from physical exertion (such as dancing) in an overheated environment without replenishing fluids, which is why users take breaks and consume fluids like water or Gatorade.
molly drug warning 2

© Depositphotos.com/ jean-louis bouzou

Given that MDMA is an illegal drug in most jurisdictions, there is no control over how it is manufactured or what additives it contains. These unknown additives can significantly increase the potential harm caused by the drug.

It is true that molly is often referenced in song lyrics.  A music article on The Guardian notes:

Over the past year, zeitgeisty rappers such as Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky have increasingly made music with EDM artists, actively bridging the sounds and cultures between rap and dance, and Molly has emerged as the lyrical signifier of this relationship. Popular Southern rapper 2 Chainz has referenced it on multiple songs, including chart-topping hits Beez in the Trap by Nicki Minaj and G.O.O.D. Music's Mercy with Kanye West. But it was a newcomer from Atlanta, Trinidad James, whose celebration of Molly's benefits (libidinous behaviour) and downfalls (sweating) seemed to push the drug into the mainstream. His Molly song, All Gold Everything, went from self-produced free mixtape standout all the way to the Billboard top 40 in June 2012, and shortly thereafter led to a multi-million dollar deal with Def Jam Records NBA star LeBron James was caught on camera rapping along to the song's most famous lyric ("popped a Molly, I'm sweatin'") during a warmup.

Miley Cyrus, Madonna and many other performers have regularly referenced molly in various ways. But, drug references in popular songs are hardly unprecedented.  For decades, the popular music of a time has referenced that time's drug or drugs of choice. The message implies that the music industry is actively promoting and encouraging use of the drug. While this might seem like a reasonable assumption, it could also be effectively argued that the music industry is simply reflecting popular youth culture trends and behaviours, just as it has always done.

It is unclear if the story describes a real boy and his mother, or is just a fictional construct invented to drive home the underlying message.

Moreover, the way the story is told implies that molly is something new and especially sinister. In fact, MDMA has been used in various forms for decades.  Molly is not intrinsically worse than other forms of MDMA and, in fact, there are far more dangerous drugs available.  And the warning focuses on just one variety of MDMA when other forms of the drug and, indeed, illegal drugs in general, are equally concerning, if not more so, for parents.

The take home message? Parents and guardians would do well to educate themselves about modern drugs of choice and their effects. And they should discuss such issues with their youngsters. But, sending on this over-the-top, confused, and narrowly focused warning is not a very effective method of raising awareness of drug related issues.  Parents who feel compelled to alert other parents on the issue would be better to disseminate well researched, factually presented information about molly and MDMA such as that offered by the Drug Policy Alliance and many other credible drug information resources.

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Last updated: July 18, 2013
First published: July 18, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
MDMA
MDMA ('Ecstasy,' 'Molly') Facts
Molly, a popular and dangerous party drug
Why US pop has gone mad for Molly, aka ecstasy



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Issue 159 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Warning - Grapes and Raisins Toxic to Dogs And Cats
  2. Circulating Warning Claims Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer
  3. Gareth & Catherine Bull Advance Fee Lottery Scam
  4. Does a Viral Video Really Depict a Snowfall in the Philippines?
  5. Wellness Company Woolies Voucher Hoax
  6. Qantas 'E-Ticket Itinerary Receipt' Malware Email
  7. The Tale of Pastor Jeremiah Steepek and the Homeless Man
  8. American Express 'Online Security Service Notification' Phishing Scam
  9. Dell Computer Giveaway Survey and Like Farming Scam
  10. Tear Drop Monument - Russian Gift to the United States
  11. Bank of America Merchant Statement Malware Email
  12. Disgraceful Hoax - 'All Facebook Companies' Donations to Help 9 Year Old Girl'
  13. 'Disneyland SuMMer Vacation' Free Tickets Like-Farming Scam
  14. MBNA 'Request to Terminate Online Card Services' Phishing Scam
  15. Burned Dog Paws Warning
  16. Tim Tams 'May Contain Traces of Human Flesh' Hoax Image
  17. Spurious Facebook Warning - 'Powerful Computer Viruses Named Trojans'
  18. Big W Samsung TV Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  19. Siamese Pike Photograph
  20. Circulating Message Warns of Drug Called 'Molly'
  21. 'Confirm Your Apple Account' Phishing Scam
  22. Windows Live - Hotmail Account Closure Phishing Scam
  23. Circulating Internet Message Warns of Rotavirus Outbreak
  24. Facebook 'Graphic App' Privacy Warning Hoax
  25. Harvey Norman Like Farming Scam