Do you know 'Molly'? Meet the dangers of a popular club drug

By Kelly McCarthy

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 7:01 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Recent deaths caused by a club drug that goes by the street name 'Molly' led Sen. Charles Schumer to push for tougher legislation to stop its illegal manufacture.

It has also caused college campuses to initiate education campaigns that shed light on its dangers.

Binghamton University is starting a campaign to educate students about the drug molly.

Health educators said those who take it might not realize how dangerous it really is.

Posters are now hanging up around campus telling students that even if they think they know molly, they really don't.

"It's actually a mystery drug," said student Melissa Edelblum,"You really don't know what's in that, why would you put something like that in your body to potentially even kill you."

Molly is gaining popularity from its use at musical festivals and in pop culture.

"The music's pumping, it kind of gets you more into it," said student Jeremy Chalchinsky, "It's an intense experience and you just really like, it makes you enjoy things more."

The drug is advertised as a more pure and potent form of Ecstasy but in reality, drug educators said it could be manufactured with anything.

"It's often mis-marketed and cut with other substances," said Assistant Director of Alcohol and Drug Programs Garrett Fitzgerald, "So what you might be buying as Molly many times isn't even MDMA, the substance that should be molly, at all."

Fitzgerald said MDMA-based drugs release large amounts of serotonin to the brain. Serotonin is what gives users that intense euphoric high. But once the drug wears off, Fitzgerald said the crash is almost as dangerous as the high.

"There's the issue of depression, of mood swings later on," Fitzgerald said, "Because that chemical that it normally uses to regulate has been used up and your body can only regenerate it so quickly."

The common misconceptions are leading drug educators on campus to take action. They said in order to make the right choice about molly, students need to know the truth.

"The pop culture phrase with molly is, 'Do you know molly'," said Fitzgerald, "Have you seen molly? You'll see even t-shirts that say, 'I'm looking for molly', or 'have you met molly?', so we kind of wanted to play off of that with the idea of, do you really know molly?"

The campaign "You don't know molly," gives facts about its dangerous effects to the brain and how it could lead to long term health problems and even death.

It highlights a scary reality that has already made its way to the student population on campus.

"Every time I go to a party I see this group of individuals who I would think are high on something," said student Elijah Alsdorf, "And there's usually whispers saying, 'Hey they're high on molly.'"

Statistics taken from the Global Drug Survey said in 2012, 26 percent of people said they had tried MDMA in the past 12 months and in 2013 that number jumped to 60 percent.