Al Rasheed: MDMA culture conceals drug’s dangers

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

When Diplo, who rose to fame as rapper M.I.A.’s disc jockey, has an issue with the drug usage associated with rave culture, it must be a matter in question. 

“If you’re going to go to a festival, drink water for six days before you get there. Don’t drink no alcohol. If you’re going to do a pill and a half, don’t do four more and then pass out, overheat and die of cardiac arrest. Instead of acting like drugs don’t exist, acknowledge that drugs will be at a festival and address them.”

While grammar and structure leave much to be desired, perhaps there is some substance to Diplo’s proposal addressing the MDMA — the crystal form of Ecstasy commonly referred to as “Molly” — issue that is evident today. The article reveals eye-opening facts such as the presence of testing booths at music festivals in Europe, which allow consumers to make sure that the drugs they are about to use are not laced with anything, which is one of the biggest concerns with the white powder substance that has this generation talking. 

But Diplo has failed to consider that, in the United States, we can’t even regulate our corn properly, so enthusiasts of this proposal will likely wait a long time for these practices to move into the American recreational drug arena. Until then, the public can expect users to continue to ignore the fatalities and warning signs from medical sources and news articles because here’s the thing about most drug users: If they’re in a position to use recreational drugs to begin with, they likely do not care at all. 

And this is the scary thing about the increased number of Molly users today and the real issue at hand for young individuals: The increase in use of such a hard drug and its casual presence reveals a new presence of individuals who have lost their reason to care.   

News outlets such as TIME Magazine and CNN have published articles in the past, all of which shed light on the fact that “Molly” is a cute name for a very dangerous drug. But they have been too scientific and one-dimensional in their descriptions of the negative side effects of the drug, merely pointing to the adverse health issues and, recently, its potential to cause death. Drugs have been around for a long time, and consumers know what they are getting themselves into when they become involved with them, so it seems futile to hope for any change this late in the game. 

While drug users have only themselves to blame for their use of stimulants, we’re not paying enough attention to why they increasingly succumb to this pressure. Molly has made its way into a wide demographic, attracting both the good kids who follow rules and maintain high GPAs and the typical rave attendees, creating a pseudo-culture of seemingly unified, euphoric individuals, many of whomg you would never have expected to turn to drugs in the first place. 

But, sadly, Molly culture is no more than a fake idea of a collective and a fake perception of happiness. For many, it acts as a temporary fix to a very deep-rooted issue, namely that this feeling of happiness is worth risking your life. 

As with any drug, media and celebrity glorification has made it difficult for the youth to clearly see reasons to avoid the drug. But I found it interesting that one of the summer’s chart toppers was widely misunderstood as glorification when, in actuality, it aimed to expose the dark aftermath of Molly usage. There have been multiple posts about the analysis of Miley Cyrus’s music video for “We Can’t Stop,” which is actually a ballad about loneliness — a message that blatantly describes being engulfed in something that we really can’t control anymore. A recent Business Insider post highlights key elements of the video in its analysis — an interesting read for the artistic aspect. The highlight of the music video, when the shot cuts to a taxidermied deer standing in front of a 360-degree mirror, representing what the Molly culture does to individuals. The deer, while apparently alive, is actually hollowed out and preserved in an image of what a live deer would look like, appearing to be surrounded by others like it but, in reality, standing alone and lifeless.

In a twistedly fortunate way, the fact that drugs, including Molly, have been around for a long time gives reason to believe that their recreational use could simply be a phase for this generation. for many, Molly will simply be something that parents will hide from their kids and refer to it as what they did when they were young and didn’t care. But, if we’re continuing to rely on artificial forms of happiness, if we’re hoping to make up for something by ingesting a white powder, we have a much bigger issue at hand. This, rather than the safety precautions of a fake solution, is what should be on our minds.