Written by: Stephen Harrison, James Reslier-Wells and Ken Napier
“It peaks for probably 3 hours, 4 hours, where you’re rolling face and everything that you touch just feels like an orgasm… the sensation of other people is just ridiculous,” says Mercer student Stewart, describing the sensation of the height of a MDMA high, which is referred to by users as “rolling.”
MDMA is short for Methylenedioxy methamphet- amine and is colloquially known as Molly when in powdered or crystalline form. According to a CNN article by Marina Cso- mor from Aug. 2012 entitled “There’s something (potentially dangerous) about molly,” the term “molly — a name shortened from ‘molecule’ — is thought of as ‘pure’ MDMA.” When pressed into pill form, it is known as Ecstasy, though in this form it is frequently cut with other benign substances or other drugs.
MDMA is typically taken in pill form (by placing the powder inside of an empty gelcap) or by “parachuting” the drug, which involves placing the powder inside a small piece of tis- sue and swallowing it whole. Less frequently the drug is snorted, diluted in water and taken orally, smoked or taken through an IV. No matter the form, MDMA is a Schedule I controlled substance on DEA’s controlled substance list.
“In the last 16 or 18 months the MDMA use just everywhere has definitely gone up,” says Stewart.
In a VOICE survey of thirty Mercer students, fifteen said they had used illegal drugs while enrolled at Mercer, fourteen said they had attended class or been on campus while under the influence, five said they had used drugs while on campus, and three said they had purchased drugs while on campus.
Among students inter- viewed by the VOICE about drug use on campus, MDMA (in particular Molly) was believed to be among the most abused illicit sub- stances along with Marijuana and prescription pills.
A Mercer student, Edward (he asked not to have his full name used), said he has used Marijuana, MDMA and LSD. “Marijuana here at Mercer is extremely popular. LSD not as much, but Molly and marijuana are seen all over,” Edward said.
The popularity of MDMA is evident to Nigel (he also asked to have his last name withheld), a Mercer student who sells marijuana. “MDMA? People go out of their way to get it,” he says. When asked specifically about students at Mercer he re- plied “People ask me all the fucking time if I know where Molly is.”
According to sociology professor Denise Ingram, who teaches a class on the sociology of drug use, “We have a student population who [MDMA] would work for. It wouldn’t be surprising, considering the type of drug it is and the environment that [Mercer] is. I think it [MDMA use] might actually be facilitated by the amount of pressure that the students feel on a day to day basis.”
When the VOICE asked Stewart why he felt that Mercer students used MDMA, he said “just for shits and gigs.”“Even though it is kept to a minimum, we do see [drug use] even on campus grounds,” says Edward. “People definitely trip and go to class, you know, I know people who trip and go to my physics 2 class. You know, they say it makes it… almost more interesting. You know, being able to, being able to try to understand, wrap your head around these conceptual ideas.”
Mercer student Alister (last name also withheld) says he has used MDMA “six or seven times” in the last 12 months. He told The VOICE, “I got it from my weed guy. He usually has it. I just buy on campus ‘cause it’s easier than setting up a deal anywhere else.”
Nigel says he won’t sell drugs on campus. “I do know people who do sell drugs on campus. That’s what they do…I mean, yeah I can make a little bit of money now, but I could also get caught and booted off campus and then thats going on my academic re- cord, and that doesn’t make sense to do that.” Nigel said.
Edward added, “I really haven’t taken that much MDMA on campus, I’ve actually taken more LSD on campus than MDMA. It’s a higher-functioning substance—you still can think and whatnot.”
After telling The VOICE about students “tripping” in Physics class, Edward told of his stance on such activities. “Substance abuse and school don’t really go hand in hand that well, but you know every once in awhile, it turns out okay.”