Molly, Kay, Georgia Home Boy and Mary Jane CLUB DRUGS
Creative street chemists never run out of ideas about how to come up with designer drugs that can be abused. These drugs are usually marketed to young people as a safe, fast way of getting high. Numerous cases of date rapes, bad trips and deaths have been linked to their use.
Molly is a club drug increasingly common in the St Louis area. It is marketed as a “pure” form of MDMA (3,4- methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, the main ingredient in Ecstasy pills). However, it is often found laced with many other drugs, including stimulants and even heroin. References to Molly appear in the lyrics of numerous hip-hop songs, including those by 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne. Its presence in popular culture gives the wrong impression that its use is without risks. To the contrary, MDMA’s effects in the brain involve multiple neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. As a result, it can cause anxiety, paranoia, irritability and depression, as well as problems with concentration, drive and motivation.
GHB (gamma-Hydrohybutyric acid) naturally exists in small amounts in our brains. It also has medicinal properties (for the treatment of narcolepsy). Its effects have been described anecdotally as comparable with alcohol and ecstasy use, such as euphoria, disinhibition, enhanced sensuality and empathy. At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, agitation, visual hallucinations, decreased breathing, loss of consciousness and death. Due to its potential for causing both disinhibition and amnesia, it has been linked to several cases of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (date rape).
Ketamine, K or Special K is an anesthetic still widely used in human and veterinary medicine. It has many beneficial medical uses. Recent research suggests it may also have fast and potent anti-suicidal and antidepressant effects. It works by blocking a specific brain receptor, NMDA (not to be confused with Molly, MDMA!). When abused, Ketamine causes dream-like states and hallucinations. Users can feel pleasantly detached from their bodies (floating). At times, the experience progresses to a state of complete sensory detachment that is frightening and terrifying. It is described as a near-death experience and nicknamed “the K-hole” . In overdose, K causes delirium, amnesia, impaired coordination and potentially respiratory problems and death.
Mary Jane’s (cannabis) psychoactive effect has been replicated synthetically. Designer compounds such as K2 and Spice contain synthetic cannabinoids and were once widely available at gas stations and online stores. Like cannabis, these compounds can trigger psychotic breaks. A cat and mouse game took place between law enforcement and drug designers who, soon after a compound was banned, would market a similar one with minor alterations. Recently, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 banned all compounds commonly found in synthetic marijuana, placing them under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Reprinted by permission of Clayton Behavioral