Yet Another Dangerous Trend: Teens and “Skittles” Parties, and More on Molly
Just when you think “Now I’ve really heard it all,” there’s more alarming news about what teens are up to. CBS NY reports that teens on Long Island, NY are taking “handfuls of drugs at random.” They bring prescription pain pills to a party, everyone tosses them into a bowl, and then they grab a handful and ingest them. Like they might ingest Skittles, the popular, colorful candy bits.
Many, many kids try things they shouldn’t during these years, as a way of experimenting. But randomly mixing prescription pills? Really? The kids at these parties set the diligent efforts of The Partnership at Drugfree, and other groups working to keep kids safe, back about 20 years. Just recently the Partnership reminded people about the Medicine Abuse Project, their “five year action campaign [that] provides comprehensive resources for parents and caregivers, law enforcement officials, health care providers, educators and others so that everyone can take a stand and help end medicine abuse.”
The kids got the pills to take to the Skittles parties, according to a doctor quoted in the article on the CBS website, from their parents’ medicine cabinet — exactly what the Partnership is fighting against. The group wants parents to have a contract with their child about drugs, and I bet some Long Island parents are wishing they had.
The doctor seemed to think the kids had already been drinking and that they weren’t coherent enough to talk to medical personnel. He theorized that the pills could have been anything from OxyContin and Vicodin, to Xanax and Valium, to Molly and “other synthetic compounds.”
Molly. There’s so much kids don’t know about the drug. I doubt the news has spread around the country, but in November a 20-something young man walked into a mall in my state and fired off a few rounds. He didn’t point the gun at anyone, so he actually wasn’t out to hit anyone. Finally, he killed himself. Later that night his brother said that the young man had been addicted to Molly, and he didn’t know why he chose to make his suicide a public spectacle. How sad.
The stories about Molly seem to be everywhere. MSN reported that last month, a 23-year-old who had hoped to own a restaurant took Molly while sitting around with friends one evening and died the next morning. He had a heart condition that had gone undiagnosed. The article mentioned a 19-year-old girl who started taking Molly at 15 to heighten the experience of attending dance clubs. When the effects were no longer enough, she graduated to other drugs and finally entered rehab.
Some people experience “short-term problems with sleep disturbances, anxiety, confusion, and paranoia” that can lead to hospitalization, but Molly can also raise a person’s temperature, and result in “high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, seizures, agitation, and signs of psychosis,” the article related.
Another problem is that when someone drinks a lot of water after their temperature rises, they can get hyponatremia, in which the blood’s sodium level drops and they can experience organ failure.
Luckily, at least one legislator is taking action. A bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer of NY called Protecting Our Youth from Dangerous Drugs Act would allow the DEA and the FDA to ban substances like Molly and other synthetic drugs. The article about this promising news appeared first in The Wall Street Journal; I read it in my local Perspectives, an addiction and recovery newsletter for my state, NJ, produced by a non-profit.
Schumer hopes to ban new variations of banned drugs, since manufacturers often change one ingredient to get around the law. He’s worried about the number of college students using it. The article also mentioned additional problems from taking Molly: involuntary teeth clenching, transfixion on sights and sounds, blurred vision, and a loss of inhibition.
We don’t know how many people have died from Molly. But isn’t even one death from prescription drug abuse too much?