A Millennial New Drug in Pop Culture

Each generation is said to have a drug that defines it’s decade; the 60’s had LSD, 70’s had weed, 80’s had cocaine, 90’s had heroin, and now for us, it seems to be “molly.” Molly or ecstasy, officially known as MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is both a stimulant and psychoactive drug. It is a man-made, dangerous, and questionable substance that can lead to extreme, and sometimes deadly consequences (http://thedea.org/thedrugs.html).

The appealing effects of this drug to many users is it’s illusion of euphoria, closeness to one another, extroversion, and a state of well being. The chemicals within MDMA are claimed to enhance your senses, including sight, touch, sound, and others, making this drug very appealing to those, in what is popularly known today, as the “rave culture.” A rave, including masses of people dressed erotically, listening to heart pounding music, and wanting to experience a connection with both the music, as well as complete strangers, makes the perfect calling for users of molly. The book, Youth, Drugs, and Nightlife, states, “The dance floor is crowded with masses of people who are worshiping the DJ, jumping and gyrating, stomping energetically to the beat. The DJ is worshiping the music, encouraged by the crowd that is cheering him on” (Hunt, Moloney, and Evans 27). The people that attend these festivals make up a culture of our own, one that is said to describe our generation.


One tweet by Haley Stoddard truly captured this growing epidemic.


The statistics of how greatly molly and rave culture are correlated is overwhelming. A study titled, “Estimating the prevalence of drug use among club rave attendees,” concluded that out of 154 surveyed festival attendees, 72% had taken MDMA at least once in their life and 24% were currently under the influence of the stimulant and psychoactive (Yacoubian, Deutsch, and Schumacher). The connection between the illicit drug use, preferably molly, and rave culture, has become an increasingly popular topic in the media. Infamously known for the deaths the drug is causing among young adults at music festivals, media coverage on the topic is making it a household topic of discussion. The year 2013 was a tragic time for the EDM world, with multiple MDMA related deaths happening at raves among the East Coast. Brittany Flannigan, Olivia Rotondo, Shelley Goldsmith, and Jeffery Russ; all these names, ordinary to many, fell victim this year to the up and coming trend. These young adults, being only four publicly covered tragedies, lost their lives due to the damaging effects of molly, and to much of a coincidence, all were then participants in EMD festivals.

News coverage on all the deaths made way into homes all across the country.

The popularity of the drug is growing increasingly in the music industry. It goes without saying the correlation between the fans of EDM and drug use, but now the drug use is expanding into various other genres. Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga are only a few artists outside of the EDM genre that have mentioned the drug “molly” in their popular new songs. Miley Cyrus shares subtle hints to drug use in her song, “We Can’t Stop,” by stating, “We like to party dancing with molly/Doing whatever we want.” She hits on the effects of molly and how the drug induces movement and makes you stay up all night dancing and partying. Unfortunately, her reference in the popular hit listened to by people of all ages in popular media, is quite common. The more extreme version of the drugs growing fame in songs is exhibited in rap artist, Tyga’s, bluntly titled song, “Molly.”

The link between the club drug and the music scene, whether solely EDM or all genres combined, exhibits an obvious growing connection. Everyone is now talking about it, be it doctors, students, artists, parents, or the person standing next to you on the bus, the world “molly” is now a known phrase. With the drug being known, the dangers need to also be explained to not only users, but to popular influences in the media that can have the power to speak out on its negative effects. EDM artists are making profit off this life threatening epidemic when they should be speaking out to save the lives of their fans.

Works Cited

Avicii and Nicky Romero. “I Could Be the One.” I Could Be the One. Universal Music, 2012. CD.

Burnett, Erin. “More about the Club Drug ‘Molly’ on CNN’s Erin Burnett with Doctor Howard C. Samuels.” CNN. September 4, 2013. Web.

Caulfield, Philip. “Brilliant University of Virginia Student Dies from ‘molly’ Overdose at D.C. Club .” NY Daily News. Daily News, 7 Sept.

2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/uva-scholar-dies-molly-overdose-article-1.1448597&gt;.

Djuren, Anthony. Ultra Music Festival. 2013 Photograph. UltraMusicFestival.com.

Hunt, Geoffrey, Molly Moloney, and Kristin Evans. Youth, Drugs, And Nightlife. n.p.: Routledge, 2010. Book Review Digest Plus (H.W.


Stoddard, Haley (HaleyStoddard_). “The only exception of doing molly is if I’m going to a rave or show or something awesome.” 2

December 2013, 3:59 a.m. Tweet.

Tyga ft. Wiz Khalifa & Mally Mall. “Molly.” Hotel California. Young Money, Cash Money, Republic, 2013. CD.

Yacoubian Jr., George S., Julia K. Deutsch, and Elizabeth J. Schumacher. “Estimating The Prevalence Of Ecstasy Use Among Club Rave 

Attendees.” Contemporary Drug Problems 31.1 (2004): 163-177. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Dec. 2013

“NYC Multi-Day Music Festival ‘Electric Zoo’ Shut Down After Two Deadly Overdoses.” ABC News. ABC. New York. 2 September 2013.


“TheDEA.org: The History of MDMA.” TheDEA.org: The History of MDMA. The Drug Enforcement Agency, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.




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