When Madonna took the stage at the 2012 Ultra Music Festival to introduce Avicii, she asked her captive audience, “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?”
Making headlines across the nation and world for the recent deaths of young adults, the euphoric energy invoking drug formally known as Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is hotter than the sweaty crowds at these electronic dance music festivals. Informally, the drug is referred to as ecstasy, or “Molly.”
On March 29 of this year, rap artist Tyga released his hit single “Molly” featuring Wiz Khalifa, depicting his quest to find the drug.
Maybe Tyga made “Molly” trendy back in March, but it has long been present in the drug world. Why the sudden popularity? According to James McKinley of the New York Times, from the year 2000 to 2011, 43 people died in the United States from MDMA, compared to 4,676 cocaine overdoses and 4,151 heroin overdoses. “Molly” is not the biggest killer. But right now, it is the most popular.
We think, similar to how Miley Cyrus blew up on all social media recently, we are a culture obsessed with tragedy and gossip. It is all too easy to sensationalize anything with easy access to social sights like Twitter and Facebook, even Instagram.
It seems that anyone can make anything look appealing. Madonna cracks a joke, Tyga raps about it, Kanye raps about it, even Mac Miller and Lady Gaga have gone public and admitted to using the drug.
Then, five young adults die in the month of September at music festivals, two being New Hampshire college students.
We are not blaming celebrities or social media sites for the deaths, but is the sensationalism they are creating turning something potentially fatal into something people think they should do to be accepted and fit in?
Must they “enhance” the experience?
We are all familiar with peer pressure and bullying. It happens daily between classmates, teammates and friends. Now, however, it seems we can expect the same pressure from celebrities as well.
Rusty Payne, a spokesperson for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, released a statement recently where he called the drug “dangerous and deadly” and said that by taking “Molly”, “you are playing Russian roulette.” The spokesperson added that what people think is the drug “Molly” is often partly or completely something else entirely.
We are aware of how trends become mainstream, and even what seemed foolish or unattractive at first, like “Molly”, can catch on when celebrities and friends join in on the fad.
The Equinox believes this “Molly” trend should no longer be what is “in.” However, pop culture and celebrity influence say something different.