RICHMOND (WRIC)—Following the death of UVA sophomore Mary Shelley Goldsmith, who passed away after taking the club drug "Molly," the university is sending out a stark warning to students and parents.
"Molly" is linked to at least four deaths in the last month, including that of Goldsmith, a UVA Jefferson Scholar who died after partying in Washington, D.C. Goldsmith's official cause of death is undetermined, but the university isn't waiting for toxicology results to warn students about the drug's risks. UVA released a video outlining the substance's devastating consequences.
"Molly" contains MDMA, the main component in ecstasy, but doctors say that only makes up 25 percent of the drug. The other 75 percent can be toxins or other dangerous substances. MDMA affects the brain, flooding it with chemicals that make the user feel good, but can cause permanent damage. Using it just once can be lethal.
"What ecstasy does is cause your sodium to drop, and it can drop significantly to the point that you have a seizure and you can have what they call cerebral edema, or your brain swells and then it herniates," said Dr. Chris Holstege, UVA's student health executive director. "That leads to death. Even a one-time user of ecstasy may be at risk for that occurring."
The student health director says at any given time, he's treating patients recovering from complications related to taking "Molly." UVA put out a version of their warning video for parents too, urging them to talk with their kids about the dangers.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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