NYC Concert Deaths Spotlights New Drug 'Molly'

10:00 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
  • Electric Zoo Concert (Photo: CBS News)
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NEW YORK - A designer drug made popular in song lyrics is blamed for causing two overdose deaths in New York over the weekend.

Those who take the drug may not realize how dangerous it is.

More than 100,000 fans expected a three-day dance party on New York's Randall's Island, but the mayor's office cut the Electric Zoo festival short after two concert goers overdosed and died.

"The Department of Health did not want to see a re-occurrence," said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The drug in question is MDMA, or "molly" -- a more pure, more potent form of ecstasy that police say claimed the lives of 23-year-old Rochester, N.Y., native Jeffrey Russ and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo of Providence, R.I.

WFMY News 2 Reported on this drug in March 

"Kids will often think of this as a very benign drug, and that is scary," said Dr. Damon Raskin, an addiction specialist.

Raskin said the drug lowers inhibitions, giving the user a sense of euphoria. This high gives way to a crash resulting in anxiety and depression.

"They will often mix ecstasy with other drugs, especially at parties, like alcohol and marijuana," Raskin said. "I think that the combination of these drugs makes them all the more toxic."

In 2011, hospitals reported more than 22,000 MDMA-related emergency room visits -- a 120 percent increase from 2004, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.

The club drug has made its way back into popularity, thanks in part to its glamorization in music and youth culture by artists like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.

This is the third death in less than a week. A 19-year-old New Hampshire woman overdosed in Boston last week at a Zedd concert. One of some 40 artists forced to cancel appearances on Sunday.

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