A rave with a controversial past came to Orlando over the weekend — and with it came hundreds of doses of the MDMA drug “Molly,” a KnightNews.com investigation has concluded.

KnightNews.com talked with several UCF students who attended the Electric Daisy Carnival, known as EDC, and confirmed the drug use was widespread among UCF students. While many admitted they used it off the record, none agreed to have their name attached to it on the record, for obvious reasons.

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“People smuggled them in their bras. The guys smuggled them in underwear,” a student who attended EDC told KnightNews.com on the condition of anonymity.

“Everyone is taking this drug for the first time, I swear,” the student, who admitted taking the drug, told KnightNews.com. “They want to experiment, try something new.”

KnightNews.com learned some UCF students got their supply of “Molly” from South Florida.

Most were not aware of the side effects. KnightNews.com researched MDMA and learned there are dangers that can be deadly. Sasha Rodriguez, a 15-year-old girl who attended EDC in Los Angeles last year, died of an overdose from MDMA.

According to the LA Times, “the ingestion of the hallucinogen caused Sasha to lose oxygen to her brain, leading to inactivity and death.”

She arrived to the hospital in a coma, after an ambulance ride where she had seizures. She also had abnormal heart rhythms before tests showed she had no brain activity and she was pulled off life support.


Video from the LA event: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUicv2RMvVc


During the LA event 120 people were hospitalized and 118 were arrested. In Orlando, there weren’t any similar reports. That could be due to how the City of Orlando, which owns and operates the location where EDC was held at Tinker Field, took steps to minimize the risk, such as forcing the event to end by midnight.

“We have looked at what happened in other cities and taken measures to ensure they don’t happen here in Orlando,” Heather Fagan, Mayor Buddy Dyer’s press secretary, told the Orlando Sentinel.

The students KnightNews.com talked to confirmed security was tight, but admitted it didn’t stop them from sneaking in MDMA and consuming multiple doses throughout the night. And when the rave ended downtown, many students came back to the UCF area for after parties.

This flier was made in LA after an MDMA death at EDC

It’s not yet clear if the spike in MDMA/Molly use among UCF students will die off now that EDC has left town, or continue now that students have tried it.

In LA, officials published a controversial flier acting as a guide on how to avoid complications with MDMA. It came under fire for giving tips on how to minimize risks while using MDMA, such as by avoiding combining caffeine and other stimulants while taking MDMA. The flier does point out the best way to stay safe is not to use it at all, but that advice wasn’t the most prominent.

EFFECTS, DANGERS OF MOLLY/MDMA

KnightNews.com researched the findings of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which states: “MDMA can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature that can lead to kidney failure. MDMA can also increase heart rate, blood pressure, and heart wall stress. Animal studies show that MDMA can damage specific neurons in the brain. In humans, the research is not conclusive at this time; however, a number of studies show that long-term, heavy MDMA users suffer cognitive deficits, including problems with memory.”

Other side effects can include: nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. The institute reports that MDMA overdose can also occur, which include symptoms like high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness and seizures.

Even if you avoid the initial side effects, more can come over the course of the week following “moderate use of the drug,” according to the institute. Many MDMA users later report feeling emotions ranging from anxiety, restlessness, irritability and sadness that in some cases can be as severe as true clinical depression, the institute reports.

Research is unclear on whether MDMA is addictive, however, data indicates it can be in some cases. If you have an addiction you’d like to talk about, the UCF Counseling Center is available for free to answer any questions. The number is 407.823.2811.

19 COMMENTS

  1. i think if ecstacy was that bad people wouldnt be taking it literally every week at ignition obviously if you were to try you would change your mind completely and in my 3 years of doing i have never seen or heard of anyone in orlando dying of it
    people go to music festivals to listen to the music its just even better rolling and im pretty positive that the only way its bad for you is if you do it too many times in one month people are retarded seeing as i do a few times a year and still had a 4.0 gpa in high school

  2. I think of raving in the 90s in Orlando as the best times in my life I’m almost 40 now. The music still moves me and I love teaching my kids to dance to it.

    Ecstasy or rolling was a big part of it and I ate a lot of pills back then. There was little crime except assholes who might rip you off. But everyone wanted to have a good time and to help others have a good time.

    Media is media and rarely print the truth and it’s been that way for a long time. Oh it can technically be true but they skew it anyway they want to.

  3. sounds like 4mmc to me “plant food” google that people.its blowing up all over the states.and is already illegal in china.I know many purple affected greatly by this new designer drug and I w beouldn’t surprised if thats what they were taking

  4. this guy B has no idea what hes talking about…ive been going to “raves” since the mid 90s…i keep it sober as a judge…dont do hard drugs, dont even smoke weed, no cigarettes…some booze here and there…thats about it…LMAO at not being able to go an event w/ music w/ no words and not be on drugs…what a baseless assumption…granted theres a ton of people doing drugs at raves, theres a ton of teachers doing drugs too, housewives, husbands, police officers, at sporting events, bars, clubs, casinos, at home this very moment….pretty much anywhere where theres people theres drugs and people doing them…lets just shut down the planet…the people who have a genuine appreciation for the music dont need a drug to enhance the feeling…

  5. “…I do know that over 5,000 people died last year of MDMA…. soooooooooooo yea its obviously good to take………. roflzzzzz”

    5,000 people? Where in the United States or the world?

    There actually is poor record keeping when it comes to the number of Ecstasy deaths but even in 2001 at the peak of Ecstasy use in the United States there wasn’t 5,000 deaths, there wasn’t even 500 deaths… There were 76. Last year in the United States, only several were even reported in the news.

    Think before you talk next time, B.

  6. Why was it so hard to call it ecstacy in this article? I had to google what the hell u were talking about because Im not a baser and idk the pharmaceutical names of drugs. Make ur shit easier to read and understand dammit!!!

  7. A few commenters have made important observations regarding the inconclusive data on the dangers of MDMA consumption in humans. I won’t rehash that research here but for those interested please read the HARM ASSESSMENT section on the MDMA wikipedia entry (especially the part about balanced public discussion).

    One point that did go unnoticed by commenters so far concerns the biased coverage of the event by knightnews.com. For instance,

    “KnightNews.com talked with several UCF students who attended the Electric Daisy Carnival, known as EDC, and confirmed the drug use was widespread among UCF students.”

    I don’t believe that talking with “several UCF students” warrants the conclusion that drug use was “widespread”. While I think bias is inevitable in the media, there should be at least some sort of argumentative ethics, i.e. don’t jump to hasty conclusions based on a few observations.

    I think that the City of Orlando was right in closing the event at 12am and this helped avert any binge use among newbies to the MDMA scene. My kudos to the City of Orlando and to knightnews for bringing that piece of information to the discussion. IMHO that’s good public intervention and that’s good reporting (since reporting something like that might persaude other cities to consider having an event like EDC based on Orlando’s model of individual accountability aided by intelligent city planning).

    Concerning the LA EDC event and the 15 year old girl who died: it should be noted that the age for entry to the event was 16 years and older. The 15 year old girl’s mother didn’t even know where she was that night! Also, I’m extremely skeptical about her death being caused by MDMA alone (although it’s a possibility, I don’t think The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies would be granted public funds to research the potential of MDMA in treating people with PTSD if MDMA was so deadly).

    The LA times was cited by knightnews as categorizing MDMA as a hallucinogen. That’s incorrect. It’s actually an entactogen or empathogen. It causes a profound and empathically directed social awarenes accompanied by euphoria and the characteristic speediness of amphetamine derivatives. It doesn’t really make you hallucinate like LSD or psilocybin does (except in very large non-recreational doses~doses an addict might be prone to taking on one of his binges).

    Switching topics quite a bit, I want to advise students who might want to experiment with MDMA (whether in pill form or in powder form) to always reagent test their chemicals. Reagent testing with something like a Marquis Reagent test kit can give individuals a good idea of what substance is contained in their intended drug of choice for the night or day. It’s not fool proof, but it’s a start for a responsible drug user.

    Finally, we come to someone who isn’t me’s (SWIM) experience with ingesting and testing MDMA or molly in the central Florida area. There are resources online such as pillreports.com and ecstasydata.org in which users submit either reports (the former website) or pills for gas chromatography testing (the later website). SWIM has tested multiple pills from multiple sources in the central florida area. SWIM will tell you this. Sometimes, profiteers will sell a variety of easily obtainable chemicals (BZP, TMFPP, PMA, Methylone, Mephedrone, etc.) which attempt to mimic the behavioral profile of MDMA to unsuspecting, uneducated first time would be users of MDMA (known in the culture as “getting piped”; “piped” is short for piperazine class chemicals). SWIM has tested, using a marquis reagent test kit, pressed pills and powder “molly” (short for “molecule”) and SWIM has found that the majority of molly in the area is not MDMA but another one of these cheap imitator chemicals masquerading as MDMA and about half of the pressed pills in the area are also fakes. Now, that’s a real problem and knightnews should have released some sort of educational information concerning fakes BEFORE the event, not some ridiculous cautionary tale AFTER the event. That’s just fear mongering, not journalism, not serving a noble function for the student body.

    Am I claiming that those present at EDC Orlando were “getting piped”? Yes and no. On the one hand, I’m sure a lot of students tried “molly” and I’m sure that some of that molly was MDMA, but I’m sure others were sold imitation chemicals, and sometimes even simple salt as molly. I’m sure some of those who got “piped” suffered a placebo affect and others suffered from the nasty fakes and still others enjoyed their fakes with pleasure (thinking to themselves that they were “rolling” on MDMA when in fact they were on some other far less known, far less studied, and perhaps far more dangerous chemical.

    In short, we need journalism that informs an already intelligent public, not scares the public into the fear of intelligence. Test your chemicals, know your limits, and have fun. As one commenter noted, you only live once and electronic dance music that encourages exercise through dance and socialization through MDMA is not something to be feared, but a part of subculture that needs to begin emerging into the dominant culture.

  8. I just read the idiots comment about MDMA not causing brain damage, although I havent personally looked up that stat I do know that over 5,000 people died last year of MDMA…. soooooooooooo yea its obviously good to take………. roflzzzzz

  9. @hatersgonnahate, what are you so mad about? haha. All I said was how EDC IS A DRUG EVENT… how are you denying that when people HAVE done the research and reported that about 90% of the people attending EDC were on some sort of drug… Go back to class and make yourself feel better about having no friends by coming on here and saying “why are you saying that? do you have a purpose?” your probably that kid in class that gets happy when you hold up class to ask the teacher some question no one cares about except you. and for the classical music argument, if you like classical music your just as dumb as the idiots that attended EDC and were like “OMG IT WAS LIFE CHANGINGGG” ME > everyone at EDC :):):):):) let the rage comments begin at me. I guess your right HATERS ARE GONNA HATE :):):)

  10. Do some research Harvard Medical School just posted a couple months ago a medical journals that shows no link between mdma and cognitive brain damage.

  11. @”B” – You gave no evidence to support this statement. Have you been to one of the concerts? Are you yourself a druggie? Or are you just an outsider observing something you’re not familiar with but are perfectly willing to pass judgement on?

    Think before you decide to say or write something. What are you saying? Why are you saying it? Do you have evidence to support your issue or is it merely an opinion? Answering these questions often helps me make my point clearer or even stops myself from saying anything at all if it’d make me sound stupid.

    Then again, from the style of your writing and how you’re typing like you’re texting on a keypad phone, I’d guess you don’t care that much about how others see you from an intellectual point of view, which really is a shame considering you’re probably a College student.

    (Really though, “I dun lik ths musik so ppl mst b hi” is the silliest argument I can think of. Bieber fans must have been high because I’m simply not a fan of him. Funny the way this new logic makes me look upon the world. Our ten year old girls are stoned off their asses, no wonder our grades suck.)

  12. just because this is the first time students are admitting to using the drug doesn’t mean its the first time they’ve used it. It is becoming much more widely accepted in our generation which is why more people are admitting to the use of it. Molly has been prevalent at music festivals since the 1960’s and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Of the people at EDC this weekend I would estimate based on who I spoke to 90% of the students took it, combined with other drugs, one if not both of the days. The difference between this and the rave in LA is that people were with other people they trusted, and they knew their limits. Any drug, prescription, medication, natural supplement, etc has it’s side effects and consequences. Everything can be dangerous in moderation. It’s about knowing yourself, what your mind and body can handle, and being with people you trust. This article is bullshit, and trying to scare people away from raves or trying new things is ridiculous.

    You only live once, and each and every one of us makes our own decisions about what we do and do not want to try.

    In my eyes, this past weekend was one of the best weekends of my life, every person i met was there for the music and to meet new people. Everyone helped everyone out, we all just wanted to have the best time possible and make sure everyone else had the best time possible too.

  13. yeah this is nothing new…at least Molly is pure mdma, and not the pressed ecstasy pills we were taking at UCF back in the 90’s. Those things were mixed with who knows what and were much more harmful.

    1 girl died in L.A. and it’s like this drug is a an automatic death sentence? How many people die from alcohol poisoning EVERY DAY? Where’s the outrage over that.

  14. Any drug is not new, anywhere. Stupid people, doing stupid things; makes stupid rules.

    And to reply to “B”; I can honestly say I went to Day 1 and Day 2 (of 3) to Ultra completely sober and had a pretty good time. There are people that do it, but majority of people are on something between drinking-smoking.

  15. To “B”, speak for yourself! I listen to that music on a daily basis, mostly sober! There are people out there who genuinely love the music and don’t need any drugs to enjoy it. You’re probably one of the bandwaggoners that attend just to get messed up and to see what all the hype is about. If you don’t have any love for the music then GTFO!! I’m attending EDC LV, which is 3 days and there is no way I’m getting sh*t faced all 3 days. And some of the music does have words, and even if they don’t they are beautiful songs. Classical music doesn’t have words and you don’t see old people popping pills now do you?

  16. to “A”, its stereotyped as a “druggie” event BECAUSE IT IS! lol. you cant deny that. If you didnt smoke, drink, or do anything you were in the minority. plain and simple thats why pple went….. theres no way soberly pple could listen to music with basically no words for 10 hours without being in some sort of impaired state…. saying that it sucks that these are being considered “druggie” events is basically saying that it sucks that bars are being considered “drunk” events…

  17. I agree with the person above, it’s the idiots that don’t know what they’re doing that ruin it for everyone else. However, there are a great amount of people who DO NOT use MDMA at these events and genuinely have a good time just dancing and listening to the music. 🙂 It sucks that these things get stereo-typed into “druggie events”.

  18. Molly is nothing new to ucf it was taken just as much at tiesto and dayglow at the UCF arena if not more… it’s just a once in a while thing people who are irresponsible are usually the ones that ruin it for everyone do it right or don’t do it all rookies

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