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Local Experts Warn Against 'Molly' As Teens Experiment With Club Drug

Many Riverhead and North Fork parents have never even heard of the potentially dangerous drug that their kids could be using.

There's a new drug of choice among teens in both Riverhead and on the North Fork, and according to experts, most parents have no clue that the drug exists -- or that their teens are hooked.

The drug, called "Molly," is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, the chemical used in making ecstasy, said Susan Toman, of the Guidance Center in Southold. MDMA, she said, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Molly's technical name is 1-(3-Trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine, or TFMPP.

Taken in large doses, Molly causes hallucinogenic reactions; the DEA considers MDMA to be a schedule I controlled substance, and can cause confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving. The drug also can cause muscle tension, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramps, nausea, faintness, chills, sweating, and blurred vision.

In addition, the DEA reported that high doses of MDMA can interfere with the ability to regulate body temperature, resulting in a sharp increase in body temperature and hyperthermia, leading to liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure. Severe dehydration can result, the DEA said.

Experts warn Molly is being used by area teens. "Molly is being experimented with by youth on the North Fork and Riverhead and I am sure through out the United States," Toman said. "The hip hop community promotes it in music," she said.

Huffington Post report, Madonna was criticized in March for asking, at a music festival, "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?" The crowd, the article stated, cheered.

Toman said the drug can cause euphoric feelings. "They're walking around with rose-color glasses that last for a few hours. Students have been known to attend school and be able to function on Molly," she said.

In addition, Toman said, teens are experimenting with other synthetic substances, such as Smiles, a hallucinogenic drug -- and others that can be smoked in "e-cigarettes," electronic cigarettes that look like nicotine cigarettes but can be filled with synthetic drugs and masked with pleasant scents so parents remain unaware.
John Corbett, clinical coordinator at Mary Haven Center of Hope in Riverhead, works with teens and adults addicted to Molly and other synthetic drugs in "Steps to Life" program.

Corbett recently addressed the alarming topic of widespread Molly use at a forum held at Mattituck High School in December.

"Molly is like the 70s version of crack," he said. Teens, Corbett said, are combining Molly with other drugs, including marijuana and alcohol.

"This is not just happening in Mattituck and Riverhead," Corbett said. "It's everywhere. It begins with adolescents -- it's their drug of choice. Gone are the days when kids smoked marijuana and had a can of beer."

Today, Corbett said, teens are shooting dope, sniffing heroin, injecting "oxys and roxies," or the pill form of heroin, and opiate, and using Smiles, a form of K2, another dangerous synthetic "designer" drug.

But, Bennett said, although kids love the "highs and lows," of Molly, the crash is a hard one; body chemicals are being reconfigured and body temperatures being manipulated -- something that can cause dangerous medical issues, he said.

"Kids are experimenting with this on a regular basis," Bennett said.

Molly can sell for anywhere from $8 to $25, but because the drug is so highly addicting, he said, "They're buying a lot of it."

Corbett said his agency works with the Suffolk County Correctional Facility, the department of probation, and the East End Regional Intervention Court, and is able to test for Molly and other synthetic drugs -- as well as alcohol, as much as 96 hours later.

Corbett will be kicking off a new counseling program inside the Suffolk County Correctional Facility on Friday.

Molly, he said, is a drug parents should fear, causing a spike in emergency room visits, with teens experiencing heart palpitations, hallucinations, and lower than normal body temperatures.

"There's been a boom," he said. "This is not just in high school -- even adults are using it. It's te new feel-good drug."

Toman said synthetic drugs work with chemicals with in the brain that help regulate mood by increasing the activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

"When depleted of these natural occurring neurotransmitters, youth can fall into depression. It can be for a short period time, while others may need to be hospitalized," she said. "Brain chemistry is general and yet unique. Some of our youth do not have the advantage of an abundant supply of these neurotransmitters. It is playing a psychological Russian roulette."

Toman said she believes adults have a responsibility to educate young people in health and science classes about the reality of synthetic drugs.

"We must act -- and stay current with the war on drugs," she said.

Toman said she's heard from teens and professionals that synthetics are on the rise on the North Fork and Riverhead.

But because not everyone is aware of the synthetic drugs or how to test for them, Toman said there have been instances when diagnoses could not be made.

"Youth have died in emergency rooms," Toman said. "We need to stay current, to battle the romanticizing of these dangerous substances."

Prevention, Toman said, is key. "What causes our young people to seek these escapes? That is part of what needs to be answered."

Studies and surveys similar to those done on the North Fork in 2006 and 2012 need to continue every two years, even in the face of a faltering economy, Toman said.

"As a doctor puts on a cast to heal a broken bone, so can some of these prevention programs be implemented universally to aid in reducing underage drinking and substance abuse. Our communities and youth and families are broken - we need to act now."

Such programs, she said, include "Too Good for Drugs," a program used nationwide in grades K through 12.

Also necessary, Toman said, are educating those that sell alcohol and holding them to the responsibility of checking and proofing youth, enforcing the social host law; keg registration; and training local law enforcement for proper party disbursement of youth.

Parents, Toman said, need to be parents. "We need skills to parent our children through this dangerous environment. Knowledge is the key. Awareness that if we are not clear about the boundaries regarding our laws our norms, that we are giving our youth a message of indifference. We need to set clear and strong boundaries both in our families and within our community."

Youth education, parent support groups, family counseling, support of law enforcement, and encouraging the business community to be onboard are also important, Toman said.

Community groups and government leaders need to become involved, as well -- a collaborative approach is key, Toman said.

The Guidance Center Services as lead agency for the Communities That Care, a community coalition committed to change, she said.

In partnership with Communities That Care and the Southold Town Recreation Center, The Guidance Center has offered healthy alternatives, including 'tween and teen dances featuring local talent, and offering healthy socialization in a safe chaperoned environment.

"It is my hope that through all the aspects of community partnered in prevention we lessen the number of youth that need treatment and make more available treatment for those that do," Toman said.

jay powell February 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM
I hope those evil people that making this drug to stop killing our kids god help them. Wat about my babies o oh no. Lord forgive them this not right.....
Mike February 27, 2013 at 03:46 PM
You, sir, are an idiot.
Justin Sharma March 01, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Yea, um can you please learn about grammar? And really? Alcohol has been killin' kids and people for years and it's EVERYWHERE. Worry about that, it makes way more sense to be worrying about that.
Ali March 12, 2013 at 09:47 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/health/molly-mdma-drug Whoever wrote this obviously did not check the facts. When you are a journalist and you are telling millions of people side effects that don't even exist when ingesting MDMA in powder or crystal form, you're just creating unnecessary conflict. I think this is one of the least educated takes on the "molly" epidemic I have ever read. I have taken ex, sass, molly, acid, shrooms, etc. and I can tell you from experience that molly is the least of your worries. It messes with your perception of time and it dehydrates you, these are the worst symptoms that I have experienced. Other than that, it keeps you energized when you are at a music festival and need energy to dance for 8 hours, it heightens your excitement about your favorite music, it makes you want to hug your friends, it makes you extremely social, and it allows to let go of your inhibitions and enjoy the musical experience. Yeah, if you take anything IN LARGE DOSES and/or mix it with the wrong substance, you're just a fucking idiot and need to get some help but if you're smart and careful with who you buy from, it's just a damn good time. Test your drugs kiddies, that's the key.
Walter S March 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Ali, I just wish some of the younger generation would run for office and start turning around this insane war on drugs. We have the likes of Chuck Schumer and Bloomberg and those like them ditacting how everyone should live their lives. Drink alcohol till your hearts content but if anyone should take a pill- throw them in jail. I've never taken molly but from the responses here it seems like a performance enhancement drug. The way I see it, there are people that don't want others to have an edge, just look at the steroids in sports nonsense we have now. If a guy hits 60 homeruns he's gotta be on drugs mentality. We are in desperate need of young people in political positions who can reverse these laws of the senile.
Ali March 13, 2013 at 03:47 AM
Well Walter, I am a international politics major and I can tell you that we have some promising students at CU Boulder that might just become leaders of this country in the future! As the article stated, pure MDMA is being tested as a treatment for post traumatic stress-disorder so obviously it's not as harmful as people claim it is. I am also proud to have contributed to the legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado and I completely agree about the consumption of alcohol as compared to drugs. Marijuana itself has never been proven to cause one death but our enforcement system continues to let us walk around with ridiculous BAC levels as long as we don't "drink and drive." My mother died from alcoholism and it is the most dangerous substance that I have ever seen someone abuse. All I want to see is more information being represented in the media so that the symptoms of "molly" are more than "what someone heard" or what Lisa Finn failed to research.
ChelseaFJ April 03, 2013 at 08:13 PM
In the article you state, "According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Molly's technical name is 1-(3-Trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine, or TFMPP," which insinuates that TFMPP and MDMA are the same drug. Did you find a source stating this? From my research, "Molly" is marketed as a "pure" form of MDMA or as a legal alternative to MDMA when it is 3-Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP), a chemical that has legal uses and is not controlled by the DEA. In other words, TFMPP is not the same as MDMA like you say in the article; they just share similar properties. Here are the resources I am referring to: http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/5.3bTFMPPpre-review.pdf http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/tfmpp.pdf http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/states/newsrel/2003/detroit032103.html I just wanted to make sure you were disseminating facts in your article.
Justin Sharma April 04, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Yea I already pointed out that they messed that up (you can read in the older comments) but honestly I don't think they care that they're wrong. But it's good seeing you and a couple of the other people posting on here actually knowing what they're talking about.
ChelseaFJ April 04, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Thanks, Justin. For Parents and Teens out there wanting more, research-based, information there is a good e-book titled, A Parent's Guide to Substance Abuse and Addiction." You can find it here: http://www.parentsguidetoaddiction.com/
Susan Tamborello-Toman April 05, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Chemists, the comparison of TFMPP and MDMA is due to the street sales of Molly - Please read the following information from the DEA: 1-[3-(Trifluoro-methyl)-phenyl]piperazine (Street Names: “TFMPP” or “Molly”. Often found in combination with BZP: “A2”, “Legal E” or “Legal X) 1-[3-(Trifluoro-methyl)-phenyl]piperazine (TFMPP) is an industrial chemical. It is often abused in combination with benzylpiperazine (BZP), a schedule I controlled substance. Illicit Uses: TFMPP is being promoted as a legal alternative to MDMA at raves as TFMPP or “Molly” and is often sold in combination with BZP as “ecstasy”, or “A2", “legal E” or “legal X” in order to enhance its spectrum of effects. TFMPP may be abused alone for its hallucinogenic effects. TFMPP is generally administered orally as either powder, tablets or capsules. Other routes of administration include smoking and snorting. Illicit Distribution: The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a DEA database that collects scientifically verified data on drug items and cases submitted to and analyzed by state and local forensic laboratories. The System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) provides information on drug seizures reported to and analyzed by DEA laboratories.Federal, state and local forensic laboratories identified 202 substances as TFMPP in 2007 and 3,072 substances in 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, 394 substances were identified as TFMPP.
Susan Tamborello-Toman April 05, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Free information for Parents and Guardians, can be found on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Agency web site, www.samhsa.gov/. National Institute on Drug Abuse web site, www.drugabuse.gov . The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse web site,www.oasas.state.ny.us/. The Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center site, www.liprc.org . Long Island Counsel of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, www.licadd.com For free assessments and referrals:The Guidance Center Services 631-664-9886, theguidancecenter.webs.com/
Justin Sharma April 06, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Stop spewing out bullshit. You keep putting up comments that have no justification. You know nothing about street drugs and about the individual chemicals involved in recreational use. NOBODY that uses MDMA wants BZP or TFMPP because they are Piperazines and piperazines give off bad side effects, most notably nausea because of its involvement on some Serotonin receptors that have to do directly with nausea that MDMA does NOT affect. Which is why MDMA does not cause nausea usually. Chemists make BZP and TFMPP tablets and powder sometimes instead of MDMA just to make money and because of how they are synthesized. However nobody that is a recreational MDMA user wants those drugs. Stop posting bullshit information. It's no wonder why you never come on here posting actual comments.
Amber April 09, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Kids are doing it becuase it makes them seem cool like they want to be apart of something in life. maybe its because they just want to try it.
Justin Sharma April 10, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Amber, that is not true at all. Just like when I first tried Cannabis, it was just to see what it felt like. I said no to my friends for a few years until wanting to try it. Same with Molly. I know many kids that have done molly, and none of them did it to be "cool" ever. Honestly that type of concept if more typical with alcohol and not drugs like MDMA to tell you the truth.
lou reed April 10, 2013 at 05:54 AM
You cant get "heroin based" or cocaine based or "meth based" molly. You either get mdma when you buy it or you got fake shit and who knows what it is. That and whoever wrote this article is stupid as shit. Dope IS heroin, shooting dope means injecting heroin...and oxycodone, the drug in oxycontin and roxicodone pills is not "synthetic heroin". Heroin is diactylmorphine. Methamphetamine is a somewhat common drug sold as mdma or mixed with MDMA but real molly is straight mdma, no other active ingredients. Same as what real ecstasy tablets contain, real unadulterated ecstasy tablets contain MDMA and no other active chemicals (oftentimes ecstasy pills dont contain any mdma however, and same with "molly", most of the shit sold as molly isnt MDMA..)
Justin Sharma April 10, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Lou reed you sound smart, but you're still wrong. A lot of what you said is right, but you say you can't get Meth based molly. What do you think the MA in MDMA stands for buddy? MDMA IS Meth based. Doesn't mean the effects are like meth because the MA part, which is Methylenedioxy changes up the compounds effects. And they only call some E pills Heroin based, because chemists (for some reason) have made pills with MDMA and Heroin in them or just H and other stuff. I never knew exactly why some chemists did that, but yes they still aren't "Heroin-based" though. However all MDMA is meth based whether you like it or not.
Justin Sharma April 10, 2013 at 04:51 PM
I mean the MD part is Methylenedioxy and the MA part is Methamphetamine*
Walter S April 11, 2013 at 12:49 AM
I remember going to the diet doctor back in the 70's and walking out with a 100ct 697's or black beauties. I was only 5/10lbs overweight. I have to tell you there was no obesity problem back then, all the women could wear bikinis and they all looked good. To this day I don't know why it had been made illegal. The amphetamines prescibed back then were freakin great(clean) and I believe it made this country productive. I knew 60-70 yo men working hard in machine shops back then because of it. The coffee truck drivers had also sold it and when you had to work 12hr days it was a godsend. If this MDMA has meth in it, it's days are numbered. Soon there will be a war against it and I see it brewing now. People today are just obsessed with telling others what to do.
kcbragel April 13, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Has anyone considered the long-term effects of using molly, X, meth etc? If you're not using a lot now, yet continue using for say, the next 10 years or even 5 years, don't you guys worry about having heart problems or losing your kidneys etc? Maybe you all just don't care now bc you're young, idk. If some of you use these poisons to create feelings of warmth and empathy towards others bc otherwise u dont have those feelings then there is something wrong, I'm just saying. And don't anyone tell me I don't know what I'm talking about bc I've done it all except heroin. Only by the grace of God am I still alive.
Timothy Pearson April 14, 2013 at 05:56 PM
hear in the u.k "England" we have and molly or mdma for years. like any drug you treat it with respect. i have learned that you dont mix it with any other drug that means alcohol. when i go to a party i dont drink if i know i will be taking mdma just drink water with any drug its dangerous but if the have the knollege about the drug you treat it with respect i think every school should teach drug awareness not government based but scientific based. but that is my opinion im just a 20 year old loving life loving my job and loving molly
Jd April 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Wow Tim, Good luck with your " I'm only 20 " ..brain five years from now if it's still a down economy. Your not that young and applications at Mac Donald's is going to get more competitive.
Jd April 14, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Maybe more people die eating peanuts, and driving cars but what about the families of the suicidal zombies that are loved with no real problems and act like miserable assholes because they are coming down... Same kids usually don't even know what it's like to pay bills or real life stress. Just wait until you/ they know what real stress is and molly isn't cutting it.. If the seductive name molly (and thinking its pure) makes you feel better for being a crack head your only hurting yourself. I've seen it happen to the best of them. It is a fact that there is nothing pure about it. It's not the same drug that rumored the street of being pure. Tests over the past five years show the drugs has changed to cheap fillers.
Timothy Pearson April 16, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Wow I wish that MC Donald's accepted my application but they dont like students studying psychology so i will just have to sit in that chair and talk to drug addicts on crack, heroin, speed, cocaine and these so called legal highs but i have yet found some one dependent on MDMA. I deal with people from all works of life and nearly every single one of them had some abandonment issues from the farther, mother or stuck in foster care as a child i have even got rich snobby kids. its not the drugs fault its society itself but that is my opinion i work with these people every day of their lives. I just wished that someone would have talk to them when they were thirteen just like what i had from my uncle in psychiatrist the choices in life define who we are and EVERY drug should be respected sorry for the bad grammar its a bit late over here and JD i totally understand were you are coming from and to the rest of the world "The War On Drugs Has Failed"
kcbragel April 16, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Still wondering if anyone cares about the long-term effects of these drugs, or if anyone has even given that any thought. People are so consumed with what they want right now they rarely think about consequences. Sad.
Justin Sharma April 16, 2013 at 12:52 AM
You have to use MDMA a lot and for many years. It will not affect your heart much or kidneys but the first thing it will due is ruin the Serotonin in the brain and also Dopamine. You can use MDMA all your life without damage as long as it's not consistent and not always high dosages. Many users of MDMA know about Serotonin, Serotonin syndrome, and so on. Users of drugs like this and shrooms, and whatnot are usually kids that know about them and know how they affect the body. Especially thanks to sites like Erowid.org. People don't just use MDMA just because "they don't have those feelings" but it can provide a sense of introspection and can also help people in certain times. MDMA, along with Psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD are used (especially nowadays) in Psychotherapy and it can be beneficial for many things. Don't just say "Maybe you all just don't care" not all drug users are the same. Don't just assume.
Justin Sharma April 16, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Yea Timothy, I've agreed with everything you've said so far. It's funny I'm studying to also go into Psychology and also Pharmacology.
Justin Sharma April 16, 2013 at 12:59 AM
You make it sound as if there's kid everyone doing MDMA and are also addicted. You're quite the gullible one aren't we? MDMA addiction is barely a problem, and this article just blows it out of proportion. People seriously need to care more about kids being alcoholics and snorting coke. Alcohol is the easiest drug to get and is an actual issue.
Mya Rose April 16, 2013 at 01:46 AM
kcbragel, if you have read anything that was said above from the EDUCATED people, that was already addressed. They are starting to use drugs like these in psychotherapy, helping to heal people mainly with PTSD. If there were such horrible affects why would they use that? And if you read stuff on Erowid.org, like Justin suggested above, you will learn that people take these drugs and have amazing, sometimes life changing experiences. They are not used and abused, so to speak, they are used to help, heal, and open (when used properly).
kcbragel April 16, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Sorry, but there are long-term side effects from using drugs, both the legal and illegal ones. How many medications are FDA approved that turn out to cause severe damage or death? Pharmaceutical companies only care about making bank, they don't care if ppl die in the process of using their poisons, do some research on who all has investments in these pharma companies. FDA approves the use of aspartame, research what that does to ppl and it's not a drug! FDA and the drug companies work together to keep us sick, otherwise they would stand to lose billions. Read natural cures they dont wanr you to know about, scary. Drug users come up with every excuse to use, doesn't matter what anyone else says or what the consequences are. I've used the same excuses, now I'm 36 and have a pacemaker thanks to so-called helpful and "amazing life changing experience" drugs.
kcbragel April 16, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Maybe I just didn't see it but I never saw anyone caring much about long term side effects....

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