How to Take MDMA (Molly) as Safely as Possible

This is a story about a time that I overdosed on MDMA, and all of the things that I could have done differently to make it a safer experience.

It happened at Coachella 2014: a massive 3-day, 2-night music festival attended by 60,000+ people, with acts ranging from Outkast to Skrillex, and from Muse to Lorde (I am Lorde. Lorde, Lorde, Lorde).

The site had 6 stages, of which three were giant, cavernous tents that specialized in one type of music. My main area of focus was the Sahara Tent – an E.D.M fan’s wet dream. I could fist pump and shuffle to deafening bass and epileptic light shows for hours on end in this pinnacle of P.L.U.R-dom (for the non-rave bunnies out there, P.L.U.R. stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, and is a phrase that gets tossed around at raves. I suppose it’s a nice sentiment, but when the person who says it to you has pupils the size of flying saucers, and appears to be trying to grind his teeth together into a fine powder, it loses some of its charm.)

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start with the drug preparation for Coachella. The general plan was to get drunk as hell during the day and then transition to Molly (MDMA) at night. Molly is just another name for MDMA, and tends to come in a brown crystal or powder form.

It’s measured in “points”: one point is .1 of a gram, two points is .2 of a gram, and so on. I planned to take 3 points the first night, 4 the second, and 4 the third. A group of us ordered Molly from the same guy, so it came out to around 4 grams in total. We were under the impression that he was going to divide the Molly up into separate little capsules, but when we went to pick it up, he handed us a plastic bag with it all mushed into a dense block.

The problem with having a brick of Molly is that it’s not the easiest thing to share, nor to sneak into a music festival. Normally, drug dealers have scales and little drug apparatus to split the Molly up evenly, and to pack it neatly into separate capsules. As the festival began the next day, and none of us had brought our portable drug-dealer-pack, we did the next best thing: stop at a Right-Aid. Our idea was to find some capsules of something that we could split open, dump the medicine out, and replace it with our rave bunny medicine. The absolute only thing we could find that fit the bill was a big jug of cinnamon pills.

Why anyone would ever need one cinnamon pill, let alone hundreds, is beyond me. I guess if you wanted to sneak your way to victory in the cinnamon challenge? Whatever. Why they existed wasn’t important. We now had a way to split up the drugs, and that was all that mattered.

In order to get into the Coachella campgrounds, we had to get past a security checkpoint. We hid the drugs in a jar of peanut butter, which I’ve now learned is not the most inventive thing to do. As we approached the checkpoint, I saw drug dogs, and all I could think was, “Oh shit. Dogs fucking love peanut butter. We’re screwed.”

Fortunately, our car wasn’t given a very thorough checking, and we passed safely through.

We spent the night drinking, and then passed out – eager to begin the festivities the next day.

I woke up at 8:00 a.m. to split up the Brick-O-Molly. All I had available to aid me in this task were the jar of cinnamon pills, paper plates, my student I.D. Card, and my fingers. As there were 4 grams, or 40 points, I had to split it up as evenly as possible into 40 capsules. My strategy was to dump the whole thing out onto the paper plates, and then attempt to divide the Molly mound into 40 equal-ish lines using the card and my fingers. The problem with this method was that my fingertips became covered in Molly, like a fine Cheeto dust. And like I would with Cheeto dust, I made sure to lick my fingers clean, as well as to lick the plate after I had finished filling the capsules. This meant that I ingested around a point of Molly before the day had even begun, and I also made sure that my capsules were a bit more full than the rest because I was a greedy little raver. The whole process took around an hour, so it was 9:00 am when I finished. My friends weren’t even awake yet, and I was sitting in a car beginning to twitch, with an unbelievable urge to listen to Levels.

Once the gang was up and moving at 10:30, we began drinking. My strategy at music festivals was to drink myself into a near blackout before entering, so that when I did start remembering things clearly again, I would be nice and shitfaced in the festival, and wouldn’t have to buy any expensive ass beers.

My last coherent memory was of us waiting in line to enter at around 1:00 p.m.

Next, it was dark outside, and I was talking to a girl from my school. Although, from the confused look on her face, I may have been talking like Jabba the Hut as opposed to saying actual words.

Next, I was facedown in the dirt.

Then, I was bouncing around in the back of a golf cart.

Then, I was on my back with an I.V. in my arm and a few doctors and nurses over me. Someone said something like, “He’s stabilized” and they all left except for one of the nurses. She explained to me that I was in the medical tent at Coachella, and that I was very lucky that my heart rate had returned to normal. I was to lay down there for a while, and then I was free to go.

I sat up a little and took in my surroundings. The medical tent at Coachella is a dark place to be. As soon as the doctors realized that I was going to live, I was no longer a priority, and I could understand why; there were several people who seemed to be quite close to going to the great rave in the sky. A particular image that stuck with me was the guy directly across from me convulsing and vomiting on himself, while his girlfriend stood by him sobbing hysterically. I would very much recommend visiting Coachella’s other tents as opposed to this one, because in addition to the OD’ing ravers, I found the light shows to be quite weak, and Avicii’s set was a little lackluster.

I’m not sure how much time I spent there; my thoughts were incredibly slow and hazy, and the entire thing had a dreamlike quality to it. When I finally left, I got terribly lost trying to find my campsite, and ended up trudging around the campgrounds for an hour. Each time I passed someone, they looked at my face with a shocked expression that scared me, but I was still too out of it to ask what was wrong. All I could think was that I hoped I hadn’t gotten any Gucci Man inspired tats during my blackout.

When I made it to my campsite, my friends had already beaten me there. The first thing my buddy said to me was, “Dude, what the fuck happened to your face?”

It was dark and I couldn’t get a good look at it. He took a photo.

A man who took the term “face melt” a little too seriously. I proceeded to pass out and didn’t wake up until mid-afternoon the next day, with a hangover the likes of which I hope never to experience again.

I couldn’t understand how things had gone so terribly awry, until I checked on my Molly stash – it was empty. It would appear that in a bout of raver hysteria, I had decided to take my drugs for the whole weekend over the span of about eight hours. One of the many mistakes that I made, and one that I’ll cover more in depth in this next section: How to take Molly as safely as possible.

So, how does Molly work in the brain? The main thing it does is increase the amount of three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, with serotonin being the critical component, as it is the one mainly responsible for Molly’s desired effects(

Of course, in order to get these effects, you need to make sure that what you’re taking is actually Molly, which leads us to our first step.

Step 1 – Test Your Drugs

It’s incredibly common for something to be sold as Molly that’s really a different drug entirely.

This video a good explanation of how and why to test your drugs, and also recommends this as a good testing kit.

Step 2 – Measure How Much You’re Taking and Set A Limit

By measure, I don’t mean dump vague amounts of Molly on a plate and giggle because you think it’s funny that you’re using your student I.D. card to dice up drugs.

Use a scale, and measure a pill as 90-100 mg depending on how much you weigh. The lighter you are, the less you need.

Then, set a limit. Start by taking one pill, wait 45 minutes, and if you want more, then take another. But taking huge amounts of Molly like I did is pointless, because of how it works in your brain.

As mentioned above, the main way Molly functions is by releasing massive amounts of Serotonin. But your brain only has so much Serotonin available before it needs to replenish, which means that after a certain point, taking more Molly won’t do anything because there won’t be any Serotonin left to be released.

This also means that you shouldn’t take Molly multiple days in a row like I was planning to. It won’t work as well, and is rough on your brain and body.

Step 3 – Eat and Hydrate

I ate a few eggs and drank a bunch of alcohol in preparation for my day. Terrible mistake.

If you’re taking Molly and plan on going to a concert, you’ll be putting your body through a lot, so take care of it as best you can. Once you take Molly, your appetite will be gone, so be sure to eat a big meal beforehand. If you can, forcing yourself to eat after you take Molly will go a long way in helping your body recover the next day.

In regards to hydration, you’ll most likely be dancing for a long time surrounded by lots of other hot bodies, sweating ridiculous amounts. So hydrating is important, but don’t go overboard. Although it’s not common, people have died at raves from drinking too much water. This guy from a reddit thread on Molly explains it well,“When you sweat, you’re losing water but you’re also losing salts and electrolytes that help your nervous system function and keep your body in balance. If you sweat out too many of these and drink too much water, you dilute the concentration of salts in your blood and bad shit happens. This is called Hyponatremia”. Basically, just drink water at a normal rate like you would when you’re playing a sport. Better yet, would be to drink Gatorade. I’d recommend getting a Camelback and filling it with your hydrating drink of choice.

In addition to this, you should also drink plenty of water the day before the event.

Step 4 – Random tips

Some people take vitamins before and after taking Molly. This was never something that I did, so I can’t attest to it’s effectiveness, but it’s done in the hopes of increasing the Molly’s effectiveness and also mitigating the hangover. The main vitamin I’m aware of is 5-HTP, which is supposed to help replenish Serotonin.

This dietary supplement was recommended to me

And that’s the main advice I have for how to take Molly as safely as possible, and to not faceplant at a rave.

Now, I no longer take Molly, but for those who do, I intensely recommend that you reflect as to why it is that you want to do so. As Russel Brand said,

“My belief is that people take drugs and drink excessively, those that have a problem with it, because there’s this kind of a sadness or loneliness or emptiness within them. I don’t think they’re doing it for a laugh. Some people are doing it for a laugh; they’re none of my business. Some people are doing it because there’s some sort of a hollow pang within them, and I certainly would fit into that category. The problem existed prior to the drugs and alcohol. Reality was the problem, drugs and alcohol were the solution.”

When I went to raves, it was never about the people or the music. I never had a clue who was on stage. For all I knew, it might as well have been a cat walking across a keyboard. I went to take Molly so that I could forget about my troubles, and forget about myself. Problem was, once the high was over, everything that I had chased away came crashing back, along with some new issues like a fucked up face, and the depressed thoughts that accompany a serotonin-depleted hangover. If you’re looking to drugs for a solution, at best, it’s an incredibly fleeting one, and at worst, it generates more problems.

Be honest with yourself about why you want to take drugs, and if you do take them, do so as safely as possible. No high is worth dying over.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor (obviously), and following this advice won’t guarantee your safety. Drugs can be dangerous, and if you take them, you do so at your own risk.

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About the author

Hi my name is Nick Holke

I'm 24 years old and I'm from California. Currently, I'm teaching English in Madrid.

If you wanna know a bit more about me and the website, click here.


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