Reports of Molly drug use raises concerns among campus administration
Aaron Berkowitz – News Writer
Reports of 11 Weslyan students being rushed to the hospital with “life threatening complications” due to an overdose of the street drug “Molly” which is also more formerly known as ecstasy has raised some concerns for SCSU faculty.
Sarah Michaud, Director of the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center, said there hasn’t been any exclusive Molly related incidents reported on SCSU’s campus but being that there are already proven facts about how dangerous the drug is she feels as though there needs to be more awareness raised.
“For some students the reports from Weslyan may have been there first time hearing about Molly but it’s actually not new,” said Michaud. “Our goal is prevention but if nothing else we want students to be make more conscious decisions based off of the information we are trying to pass along about the drug and its dangers.”
Michaud said the students who are aware of the dangers of Molly and other drugs for that matter are less likely to use them.
According to teens.drugabuse.gov, Molly is a manmade drug that produces energizing effects similar to the stimulant class amphetamines, as well as psychedelic effects, similar to the hallucinogen mescaline. It’s commonly referred to as a “party drug” because of its popularity in the nightclub scene. Most people who use the drug take it in a pill or tablet form but it also can be purchased in its powder form.
Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Jules Tetreault sent out the campus email informing students about the drug reports from Weslyan and said it was a “call out” to the students to help the faculty keep them get the word out. He said he thinks the chances of preventing students from making ill informed decisions on experimenting with drugs improves the more the campus spreads awareness.
“I know that students would rather hear it from other students and I understand that,” said Tetreault. “My role is to provide as much information as I can so students can better understand the consequences and ramifications might result from their choices, but it doesn’t end there. We want the students to also talk among themselves.”
He said his biggest concern is that a student’s curiosity with the drug could result in a fatality.
“Molly in specific, you never know what it’s being made with or what you’re ingesting which makes the drugs that much more dangerous,” said Tetreault. “A lot of the time it is laced.”
Michaud said the battle to keep the students safe is on going.
“For all of the years that I have been doing this work on our campus it’s really been about acknowledging that these drugs are out here and not shying around the topic. We want the students to be more informed so they can make better decisions for themselves and be safe most importantly,” said Michaud.
According to the university’s drug policy, actual sentences depend on the severity and the circumstances of the offense and the character and background of the offender. The Drug Free Schools and Community Act reads, “State and Federal law thus make crimes of many different activities involving drugs. Simple possession, giving, or even merely offering drugs is illegal, as are such offenses as the manufacture or sale of drugs.”
Tetreault said he is unsure of what the impact from all of these conversations will be but he remains optimistic.
“I am a strong believer in that if we become more informed as a community and look out for each other that that will have a positive impact,” said Tetreault. “Our hope is that by putting out information for the students it will raise some questions. Only time will tell, but creating a safer environment for our students is something that we are working towards.”
Article updated with additional information on March 28, 2015 at 11:18 p.m.
Photo Credit: tanjila ahmed