Teens Get Mixed Messages on Molly From The World

Teens Get Mixed Messages on Molly From The World

Written by Logan Mazzettia, Posted on , in Section Inspirational

By now, you've probably had it explained to you a few times (and maybe a few times too many) what Molly is. But just in case, it's a term that describes the club drug MDMA, which is supposedly a pure form of Ecstasy, though it turns out that most clubgoers, kids and other users of the drug, do not usually carry around a chemistry set to test the supposed purity. It's easy to see why that's problematic due to some recent deaths that have been in the news. Those deaths have been attributed to Molly overdoses by most of the media, but the issue is a little bit more complex than that.

Several drugs are being sold under the name Molly. The likelihood that someone is taking pure MDMA is very low. They may be taking ecstasy, which is often mixed with speed or heroin as well as a lot of other unpleasant stuff that no reasonable person would want to ingest. Even pure Molly can lead to severe depression, cardiac problems and hyperthermia. Worse than that though, they could also be taking bath salts, such as mephedrone, sometimes known as Plant Food. These are synthetic drugs that have not been subjected to rigorous testing. Neither the short term nor long term effects of these drugs are known.

Molly is bad for kids. There's no question about that. But these other drugs are unproven quantities. We know they're bad, we just don't know how bad, only maybe that they could be even worse than molly.

The reason that all of these drugs are being consumed the way that they are right now is because there's been a lot of popular exposure of them in the media, through dance and rap music, in addition to the drugs being used as a plot device in a few movies and tv shows.

Molly produces a euphoric effect that apparently goes well with the fast, repetitive music known as EDM, and the flashing, stroboscopic lightshows featured at raves and in clubs.

Drug use and teens go hand in hand, unfortunately. But the amount of uncertainty that exists around the drugs our youth population are consuming is unprecedented.

This has led some people to insist that we should teach responsible drug use, rather than abstinence.

In fact, a PSA that features some of the world's biggest DJs has been produced conveying precisely that message. Artists like Steve Aoki and KaskadeA-Trak and Tommie Sunshine have produced this video due to the prevalance of club drugs at their shows. Major Lazer's Diplo and Jillionaire have made statements in Rolling Stone suggesting that responsible drug use is underdiscussed due to the fact that we are a repressed, conservative culture who doesn't want to acknowledge the ongoing drug problem with the youth of today.

You Don't Have to Accept Drug Use By Teens

How does this idea square with parents? Well, parents obviously don't want their kids using drugs. And frankly, this message is an admittal of defeat, that kids will be kids, that we live in an out of control society and that there is no reason to expect that kids should adhere to the rules.

The rules should be questioned ocassionally, but we must also acknowledge why they are there in the first place. In the case of kids and drugs, they are there for the protection of developing minds. According to the National Institutes of Health, our brains do not even begin to show adult development until our early twenties. That means that teens who use drugs are tampering with connections that are still forming, possibly leading to serious brain trauma.

study recently examined what the effect of parents openly discussing their past drug use with their children would be. The study wanted to test whether establishing an open, honest relationship about drugs would lead to a decline in drug use in teens. The exact opposite result happened. Kids who had had candid conversations with their parents about drug use were much more likely to take drugs. It's thought that this might be because teens perceived their parents as having survived the drug experience, and that allayed any fears they had in using them.

So what kind of message do we send to kids by suggesting that they should be responsible in their drug use, rather than vigilantly saying "No" when drugs are offered?

For one thing, we give up a lot of parental authority. We also uncosciously demonstrate that we are not concerned for our child's physical or mental welfare, that we believe they will simply 'figure it out'. But one doesn't have to look very far to find examples that teens, and for that matter, adults, cannot handle the chaos that drug use will bring into their lives.

We are not ourselves when we are high. Our brain chemistry has been altered by drugs, leaving us susceptible to other poor decisions, accidents and other potentially tragic outcomes.

What this PSA does get right is that something needs to be done about teens and drug use. What that thing is that we need to help teens establish positive values and internalize them. Only then can we rest easy, secure that we can trust our children to make good choices.

Will many kids continue to use drugs? Yes, of course. But it doesn't have to be ours.