Molly is slang for MDMA (or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine).

Molly is an old designer drug. It used to be called ecstasy, until its popularity decreased when it became associated with too many deaths. It’s been rebranded Molly, with a fresh public relations campaign to make it seem purer, safer, and more fun. Pop culture embraces Molly, and musicians have even glorified it in their music. That’s all a lot of bull, as it’s garbage-deadly garbage. The dangers associated with MDMA include dehydration, hyperthermia, heart and kidney problems, seizures, death, memory loss, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and brain damage, to name a few. It should be noted that the Molly that is sold on the street and in the clubs is far from pharmaceutical grade and even more dangerous. Other substances are added to its composition all the time. These substances include caffeine, PCP, cocaine, bath salts, dextromethorphan, amphetamines, and even LSD, heroin, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid,rat poison, and more.

MDMA in its pharmaceutical-grade medicinal form is currently undergoing regulatory studies for any therapeutic benefits it may offer. For example, there are some who feel that it might help in treating posttraumatic stress disorders.

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Again, Molly is nothing new. MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by Anton Kollisch and patented by Merck Pharmaceuticals in Germany. Kollisch died in 1916 while serving in World War I and never came to know the impact his discovery would have on society. The first basic pharmacological tests using MDMA were performed by the company’s chemists much later in 1927 and 1952, and there were no tests conducted on humans prior to 1960.

In 1965, Alexander Shulgin, also known as the godfather of designer drugs, rediscovered and resynthesized MDMA. By 1968, he had begun experimenting with it on himself and others. Shulgin basically introduced MDMA, or ecstasy, to the psychiatric field in the 1970s for psychopharmaceutical use. Shulgin invented new compounds and tested them on himself, his wife, and willing groups of friends or acquaintances. He and his wife took to drugs as a part of their lifestyle. Shulgin never sold any of his drugs, but produced “how to” instructions when he and his wife authored the booksPiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story and TiHKAL: The Continuation. The acronyms, respectively, stand for Phenethylamines and Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved). Many question whether Shulgin was a true scientist or a Dr. Frankenstein who unleashed a monster by putting these designer drugs into the mainstream.

Ecstasy use started in the 1970s. It was called a “club drug” that made people feel like everyone was their friend. It was a choice drug at the parties of the late 1980s and early 1990s but its popularity began to falter thereafter due to a large number of deaths and hospitalizations, and that’s when Molly strolled in.

Molly, as well as other illegal designer drugs, flood the market and hurt our society. Despite the risks, the popularity of this drug remains. Increased awareness of this dangerous drug is necessary to counter the Molly madness.

Molly is following the same path as its predecessor, ecstasy, and is responsible for many deaths and hospitalizations to date, and no doubt many more will follow. Recreational users should realize that when they are given a substance they believe is Molly, the majority of the time it is a misconception. Molly being marketed as MDMA is nothing but a hoax.


  1. Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin. Alexander Shulgin Research Institute Web site.
  2. Drug “Molly” is taking a party toll in the United States. Fox News Web site. September 30, 2013.
  3. Freudenmann RW, Öxler F, Bernschneider-Reif S. The origin of MDMA (ecstasy) revisited: the true story reconstructed from the original documents.Addiction. 2006;101:1241-1245.
  4. Gatton DD. ‘What I feel when I’m high on Molly’: drug readily available at concert. November 5, 2013.
  5. MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Web site.
  6. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’). European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction Web site.
  7. Shulgin AT, Shulgin A. PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story. Berkeley, CA: Transform Press; 1991.
  8. Professor X. September 2002.
  9. What is ecstasy? Foundation for a Drug-Free World Web site.
  10. What is MDMA (ecstasy or Molly)? NIDA for Teens Web site.