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‘Safe’ party drug sending many to the ER

NEW YORK — After a long and raucous dinner party on a recent weeknight, guests decamped to a loft in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, perhaps the most desirable chunk of real estate in the city that never sleeps.

There was no music or dancing at this after-party, though. Instead, a host distributed clear capsules of tiny white crystals that guests proceeded to swallow — an illicit dessert known as Molly, a synthetic stimulant that has suddenly become as much a part of the 24-hour-a-day New York lifestyle as cocaine was to another generation.

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Fans dance at a rave at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2010, where a 15-year-old girl died of a drug overdose. Two suspected drug overdoses at a rave in New York this weekend forced the event’s early cancellation. Courtesy NY Times

In this case, two financiers at the party had just completed a multimillion-dollar pact, a cause not only for celebration but for bonding of the kind that only can occur in the netherworld after 3 a.m. Later that morning, everyone drifted out to go to work.

“In today’s era, everyone is popping pills,” said a fashion company owner who was one of the guests but who feared using her name could put her job at risk. “Everyone wants to come to New York and succeed, but there’s so much pressure, so much competition. … With Molly, you’re happy, you’re free, there’s no worries, no negative talk.”

Molly is marketed as a pure form of MDMA, the main ingredient in the street drug Ecstasy. Often associated with electronic dance festivals and shilled as a “safe” high, it is gaining fans across the country. But the national Drug Abuse Warning Network noted a 120% increase in the number of emergency room visits involving MDMA from 2004 to 2011.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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