Poison center reports increase in calls for new drug "molly"

Carolinas Poison Control is seeing a surge in cases related to the latest form of the club drug MDMA.

"Molly," as it's now called, is getting national attention after being speculated in three deaths in the past two weeks: two at the Electric Zoo Music Festival in New York, and one at Boston's House of Blues. Another Massachusetts concert venue even canceled the rest of its events this season because of several overdoses from the drug.

Carolinas Poison Control tells WBTV it has seen more cases of MDMA in 2013 than it did in 2012. Last year, there were 30 cases connected to hallucinogenic drugs. This year, there have been 43 cases, 32 of which appear to be MDMA.

Michael Beuhler, MD, director of Carolinas Poison Control, says the popularity of "molly" is part of the rotating door of drug abuse. With the synthetic cannabinoids declining, and bath salts declining, MDMA comes back, he says.

So why is this new form of MDMA causing so many problems now, especially in the live music scene? "It's a deadly combination because people are consuming other drugs like alcohol, cocaine at the same time ," says Bob Martin, director of Substance Abuse Services at CMC Mercy Horizons.

Mixing molly with alcohol can also cause extreme dehydration.

Martin says even though the drug is marketed as a more pure form of MDMA, in powder form, users don't always know exactly what they're taking.

"Ecstasy has been around in various forms for decades. We have had patients that we've tested it and it's come back negative for ecstasy but our patients say they're taking ecstasy."

He says especially with mentions of the drug in recent songs, parents should keep a close eye on their children, including who they're hanging out with and where they're going.

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