Sky High on MDMA in Denver
Most of us think of marijuana when we think of drug use in Denver, Colorado now that its use has been legalized on the state level. However, the drug that is quickly overshadowing it is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine also known as MDMA, Molly and Ecstasy. Each year thousands of MDMA users land in Denver emergency rooms, a figure that is likely to make you think differently about the a drug that is often portrayed as the happiest high ever.
What is MDMA?
Thanks to teens and young adults, MDMA is one of the most popular and highly sought after substances on the synthetic drug market, especially those frequenting the club scene. It’s far from new, either. In fact, it first made its way onto the drug scene after its development in Germany in the early 1900’s. MDMA didn’t gain much steam until the the mid to late 1990’s, but once it did it blew through like a freight train at high speeds.
So, what is MDMA? In short, MDMA is a substance that has the unique ability to function as both a psychedelic and a stimulant simultaneously. The effects of this dynamic combination tend to be a sense of high energy, a distorted perception of time and intensified feelings of enjoyment, affection, pleasure and happiness. It is these seemingly harmless and positive side effects that tends to make many young people in Denver, Colorado think that it is safe to take use. It’s not as benign as it seems, however, quite the contrary given that the MDMA that is found today is often mixed with other unknown chemicals, making it one a highly dangerous substance.
Dangers of MDMA
According to reports from Denver’s Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC), emergency room visits and emergency calls that are related to Molly have increased dramatically. In 2014, the number of calls that were received was more than double of those that were recorded during each of the last two years.
According to the associate director of the RMPDC Dr. Eric Lavones, when a pill of ecstasy or Molly is purchased is Denver, the chances that it is the actual drug are 50/50 as it can contain a number of different chemicals or stimulants like caffeine that are combined with animal tranquilizers. The US Drug Enforcement Administration says that in the last few years, MDMA has become a toxic mixture of chemicals created in labs.
The effects of MDMA are mimicked by the lab-created chemicals. A majority of them are stimulants that affect the central nervous system, causing a feeling of euphoria. They can also cause high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, constriction of blood vessels, and sweating. It can also prevent the regulation of temperature in the body. Some chemicals have been reported to cause psychosis, prolonged and intense panic attacks and seizures. Some compounds have also caused death.
Young and Dangerous
As mentioned earlier, MDMA is highly popular among the young crowd. Young first-time drug abusers aged between 12 and 17 as well as fans of raves and EDM (electronic dance music) are being targeted by people who are manufacturing and distributing the drug. According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), MDMA is 12. 9 percent, prevalent in young people aged 18 to 25.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), emergency room visits relate to Molly across the US increased by 128 percent between 2005 and 2011 in patients below the age of 21. Molly abuse and overdoses have increased dramatically in recent years, making it one of the biggest drug problems in the country today.
Keeping MDMA Users Safe
As a result of the increasing use of impure substances when MDMA is manufactured and given the nature of the synthetic drug market, it has become abundantly clear that safety nets need to be set in place to ensure the safety of those using the drug the Denver area. The need to respond appropriately to growing synthetic street drug market isn’t going unnoticed by those in the club scene so often associated with MDMA users.
Organizations like, DanceSafe, Erowid and Ecstasydata.org are working together to educate the public about what MDMA is, what to expect when using it, what to expect after, potential risk factors as well as providing unique on-site Ecstasy drug testing of the actual substance that is intended for use in an effort to prevent tragic loses of life.