CENTRAL TEXAS (September 30, 2013) -- Across the country, police as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are reporting a growing abuse of the drug “Molly.”
“Molly,” slang for molecular, is a crystalline powder form of MDMA which in pill form is known as Ecstasy.
Molly usually comes in capsules and is primarily found at electronic music festivals, clubs, and raves.
The drug has become prominent through references made in American pop-culture, mainly from popular music artists like Jay-z, Kanye West, and Miley Cyrus.
Data compiled by the Drug Abuse Warning Network shows that the number of visits to U.S. emergency rooms involving MDMA jumped 123 percent since 2004. In 2011, there were a total of 22,498 visits.
According to DEA reports, there has been a 100-fold increase (the combined number of arrests, seizures, emergency room mentions and overdoses) from 2009 and 2012.
When taken, Molly heavily affects the central nervous system. It can cause seizures, heart failure, and in some cases a coma or death.
The dangers are familiar to Capt. Shawn Lippe of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Organized Crime Unit.
“It's almost like a person is trying to create a super drug," Capt. Lippe said.
"When a person is using a substance and they think they know what's in it, but you lace it with more narcotics, you're magnifying the potency of that drug ten-fold."
Lippe says his office has only encountered the drug in a couple of cases. Waco Police say they’ve only encountered it once.
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department told News 10 Monday afternoon that it's aware of the drug’s presence in Bell County.
Police in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston have already had problems with the drug.
Lippe says it’s only a matter of time before it becomes more prevalent in Central Texas.
“I-35, Hwy 77, and Hwy 6 are popular pipelines for the drug trade," Lippe said.
“It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. We’ll be ready when it gets here.”