Thursday, February 20 2014, 06:44 PM EST
Dancing With Molly: Party Drug Resurfacing in Chattanooga
Where is "Molly?" It's a question some people are asking including drug investigators in Chattanooga.
Molly is a street name for a purer form of ecstasy that reports show is commonly used at parties among teenagers and young adults. But as with any dangerous drug, there is a darker side. Dr. Charles Rudolph of Doctors Express said users could potentially die from dehydration.
"You lose your desire to drink water. You'll be drinking alcohol," said Rudolph. "You can lose your body's ability to regulate its core temperature. So you can have core temperatures up to 106, 107 degrees."
Molly made headlines last year when two people in their 20s died from drug-related causes at a New York City music festival.
Investigators said tightened borders since 9/11 made the drug difficult to get in the hands of buyers, so drug makers improvised.
NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo talked to a Chattanooga narcotics investigator about what police are seeing on the streets.
"We're starting to see that some people have caught on and are being able to cook it themselves and turn out a descent product," said an undercover narcotics investigator with the Chattanooga Police Department.
Last year, Chattanooga police seized between 50 and 70 grams of it and arrested several dealers. Narcotics officers said only people who understand chemistry make Molly correctly, and it isn't like cooking meth.
But with the new version, people don't always know what they're getting. Users on average may pay $30 for a pill and probably think they're getting the real deal. But investigators said what's in a pill is often mixed with cocaine, meth or other drugs.
"It's mind altering. It's actually on the level of a hallucinogen. So, with that, they'll see and hear things. They'll do crazy things," said the investigator. "That's not something we want our youth to be experimenting with. You just know it's a white powder or a white crystal or a tablet."
Doctors said treating someone with bad side effects becomes harder when they aren't sure what was ingested.
"Taking anything off the street and you don't know what's in it is incredibly dangerous, because you don't know the purity or what's in it," said Rudolph. "That could be an incredibly dangerous decision to make."
Emergency room doctors said they run drug tests on patients who may be under the influence, which can tell them what to do to immediately start fighting the drug's effects.
Police said parents should watch and listen for the teens talking about Molly and associated slang for drugs.
By Briona Arradondo