Campaign launches to educate students about molly
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 00:09
The Department of Alcohol and Health Education this semester launched a campus-wide poster campaign aimed at educating students about the effects of the drug “molly.”
The campaign began due to increased coverage of the drug in the media following several molly-related deaths at electronic dance music festivals this year, according to Health Educator and Prevention Specialist Beth Farrow.
“The campaign is not in response to any incident related to molly on the Tufts campus or involving Tufts students, but we do think that with all the media attention and misinformation out there, it is important that students know the facts about this drug,” she said.
Posters and pamphlets about the drug, produced by Tufts, are being used and distributed at schools around New England as well, according to Director of Alcohol and Health Education Ian Wong.
“We were very quick to respond and create literature about molly, so many other campuses decided to adopt our materials,” he said.
The poster, entitled “Molly: The Facts,” provides a definition of the drug, explains its effects and risks and provides resources for students to help either themselves or a friend.
Molly is an illegal drug that is supposedly a purer form of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy. According to the poster, molly’s effects can include hyper alertness, anxiety, chills, nausea, an enhanced sense of touch and an increased heart rate, among others.
According to a Sept. 2 article from 7 News WHDH.com, two youths died as a result of overdosing on the drug at the “Electric Zoo” festival in New York. A week earlier, a New Hampshire teen died from a molly overdose during a concert at Boston’s House of Blues. Since these incidents, other problems regarding molly, including three reported overdoses at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, have cropped up across the country.
One of the primary dangers of molly is that users do not always consume the drug they had anticipated, Wong said.
“Sometimes people on the street will end up buying bath salts, which can be considered a substitute for ecstasy, but is much more dangerous,” he said.
In addition to creating posters, the department reached out to faculty and staff with materials, Wong said.
“The staff was grateful that we were able move so quickly to address this issue,” he said.
Health Service did not incorporate molly into the education of student orientation leaders, although the students were trained about many other drugs, Farrow said.
“Molly’s emergence into the media happened largely after orientation was over, and we also spend the majority of orientation discussing drugs that have more of an impact on a college campus,” she said.
According to Wong, the most dangerous drug on a college campus is still alcohol.
“Alcohol is much more widely used and also has potentially very negative effects, so we spend most of our time addressing that, followed by marijuana, which is probably the next most widely used,” he said.
Health Service will continue to have information and resources on molly available to students in an effort to combat misinformation, Farrow said.
“Misinformation about molly is a concern for us, because with its prevalence in the media, a lot of falsified information gets thrown around that could potentially result in students facing the consequences,” she said.
Health Service also provides links on its website to information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse about molly and its effects.