The rave scene and events like EDC, Foam n Glow and Life in Color are gaining popularity. Also gaining popularity are “club drugs” like molly, ecstasy and rohypnol or “roofies.”
“Club drugs tend to be used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts and parties,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Molly and ecstasy will decrease inhibition and increase sensitivity to touch which is a reason why they are popular in these settings. It is common for rohypnol to be slipped in drinks of people in a party setting, so when they become unconscious it is easier for the person that gave them the drug to take advantage of them.
Molly is a synthetic drug similar to ecstasy. The difference being that molly is supposedly a purer form of ecstasy’s main ingredient “MDMA.” When people use molly they think they are getting pure “MDMA.”
“In reality with what we’re seeing when we seize it here and other places in the country, most of the time molly also has other drugs mixed in there, too,” says Stacy Ward, a street enforcement officer at the Reno Police Department. “You just never really know what you’re going to get in there because they are not being manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.”
Songs like “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James and “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus make references to molly. With celebrities giving this drug so much attention, it seems as though the use of molly is increasing. “In 2013, 16.2 percent of high school students in Washoe County said they have used ecstasy, and most of the students in the Washoe County School District will end up attending UNR after high school,” says Eric Ohlson, a coalition coordinator at Join Together Northern Nevada.
Drugs like molly and ecstasy come in capsules and tablets that look harmless. Sometimes the drug will be made to look like popular movie or TV characters. This makes the drug look a lot like candy making it seem less dangerous and even more appealing. “Any time people think a drug isn’t dangerous, more people are going to use it,” Ward says.
Molly and ecstasy are like a concentrated form of alcohol. “A person under the influence of molly or ecstasy may experience blackouts similar to alcohol, and these blackouts may lead to dangerous situations like sexual assault,” Ohlson says.
These drugs can cause other harm to the body. The high that people look for when they use molly and ecstasy has amphetamine properties. This will increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. When body functions are sped up, body temperature rises to dangerous levels.
“We’ve seen people that we’ve arrested under the influence of ecstasy, and their body temperatures are 105 or 106 degrees,” Ward says. “The brain can’t survive at that temperature, so their brains are just frying.”
“I can’t see a trend as far as law enforcement statistics and seizure of drugs like molly and ecstasy, but that’s not really the best indicator since they are usually sold at raves and parties,” Ward says. “Ecstasy is sold differently than other drugs which makes it more difficult for law enforcement to get into that market.”
Rohypnol is another kind of “club drug” that is also considered a type of “date rape” drug. Someone who uses this drug will experience retrograde amnesia and will not be able to remember what happened while they were under the influence.
This drug is usually not used intentionally, “We’ve only had one case where someone was using a type of “date rape” drug themselves,” Ward says. “A vast majority of the time it is something that someone would give to somebody else without them knowing.”
Taylor Massaro is a freshmen at the University of Nevada, Reno. The weekend before classes started at UNR this fall, Massaro was slipped a “date rape” drug at an apartment complex near campus. Luckily the friends with her that night made sure nothing else happened to her after she lost consciousness. “As the party started getting bigger I had a guy make me a drink,” Massaro says. “That is the last thing I remember.”
Another name for rohypnol is “roofies,” after someone is given rohypnol they are usually said to have been “roofied.”
After a person is “roofied,” “It is rare for them to report the incident to authorities,” Ward says. “This is because the victim does not know exactly what happened, and feels they cannot provide enough information to police.”
Rohypnol and other “date rape” drugs are extremely dangerous, but there are ways to prevent being “roofied”.
“Always make your own drinks, and never set a cup or beer down,” Massaro warns.
“Club drugs” like molly, ecstasy, and rohypnol can create short and long-term problems for the body.
“It is best to avoid these drugs at all costs,” Ward says.