Investigators: Meet Molly - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Investigators: Meet Molly

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A new version of an old party drug is attracting the attention of a young crowd, and FOX 9 Investigator Jeff Baillon took a look at what is behind the trend -- and what danger it brings.

Five keystrokes in a YouTube search will show a glimpse of a place where inhibitions are smashed with every beat of the drum, transforming something mundane -- like making a meal -- into a main course of manic behavior.

It crops up at music festivals and young people are tuning in to a new version of an old high with a new nickname, Molly.

After the slang term for MDMA -- also known as ecstasy --found its way into the lyrics of modern music, more teens started trying out the synthetic stimulate that makes the brain release a wave of serotonin, a chemical that triggers a sense of euphoria.

It was one of the first drugs Tim used on his path to addiction.

"Everything felt amazing," he recalled.

Tim is now in recovery at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, which has visited several schools to survey students about drug use.

"Last year, we spoke to over 50,000 students in over 130 high schools and middle schools," said Adam Pederson, a counselor with MATC.

During those visits, counselors handed out surveys that show Molly is reaching a young crowd -- teens as young as 13.

"Right around 10 percent of the students that are using illegal drugs are experimenting with ecstasy," Pederson said.

As with previous incarnations of the drug, there are dangers associated with taking Molly. It can cause serious dehydration, trigger seizures or worse.

"I've had several kids take what is Molly, and they have gone either psychotic or lost their sanity temporarily -- or they have become very depressed or suicidal the next morning," said Hazelden drug expert Dr. Joseph Lee.

According to Lee, prolonged use can permanently mess with brain chemistry and leave lasting damage.

"Research suggests if some kids use MDMA (Molly) too much, they are just more likely to become depressed for the rest of their lives," he said.

There's also evidence that using Molly increases the risk of permanent memory and learning problems.

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