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2 Investigators: Overdoses Of Drug ‘Molly’ Skyrocketing

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Molly, the powder or crystalline form of MDMA -- the chemical in ecstasy -- is gaining popularity as a party drug. (Credit: CBS)

Molly, the powder or crystalline form of MDMA — the chemical in ecstasy — is gaining popularity as a party drug. (Credit: CBS)

Dave Savini Dave Savini
Award-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Skyrocketing overdoses of a drug called Molly have law enforcement concerned. CBS 2′s Dave Savini investigates Molly also known as MDMA.

The pure form of the drug looks like rock crystals. They are crushed into a powder and packed into capsules. Some users mix the powder in water and drink it.

“Do you know where I can find Molly,” music videos and pop stars are singing about this form of Ecstasy. Molly also is frequently mixed with ingredients unknown to the user, including heroin, meth, even fertilizer.

“It made me lose my mind you know,” said one recovering Molly user. “I am not the same person.”

However, this user is lucky. There have been deaths from Molly.

“It will elevate their body temperature,” warns a police investigator. He’s on a special Lake County investigative unit cracking down on drug dealers. “And they’ll basically dehydrate and that causes organ failure.”

Illinois Poison Control says there is a big spike in Molly overdoses; double the number since 2011. At least 200 Molly overdoses are expected in Illinois this year.

Authorities say there is a false sense of security the drug is harmless. It is popular at concerts and police say it is being tried by teens and 20-somethings who never took drugs. Videos of young people claiming to be using Molly can be found all over YouTube.

Detectives say there has been a surge in Molly use and they are using criminal informants to track down the dealers who sell it for $10 to $30 a pill.

Dr. Michelle London, a neuropsychologist, at the Chicago Neuro Rehabilitation Center says there is research showing MDMA causes long term damage to serotonin neurons in the brain.

London says, “The damage is even more concerning in the young developing brain.”

Dr. London warns of the possibility for users to develop memory problems along with depression.

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