Molly overdoses show importance of drug education

As a result of a bad batch of MDMA, 10 students and 2 guests from Wesleyan University in Connecticut were hospitalized for overdoses last weekend. The drug, usually called molly, is a form of ecstasy. It typically acts as a stimulant, though symptoms can be complicated when additives like ephedrine, caffeine, ketamine, or even “bath salts” are included.

The drug is popularly believed to be safer than other forms of ecstasy, though the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that MDMA use can result in hyperthermia (overheating the body to the point of shutting down organs). This is especially a risk at hot, crowded clubs or parties.

While the Wesleyan case shows some of the health risks of illicit drugs, the lack of drug education on college campuses is even more concerning. At Carnegie Mellon, drug education is limited to Orientation events and the required Alcohol EDU course online. Alcohol, not drugs, is the focus of both programs.

Though alcohol education is important, drug use is a reality about which students are often uninformed or misinformed.

Of the four Wesleyan students who were arrested in association with the case, three are pursuing neuroscience majors, according to NBC. One is the leader of a campus group of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Wesleyan.

While these students have received criticism because they “should have known better,” The Tartan will not speculate about their choices. Instead, we believe that drug education should be a higher priority on college campuses. The Carnegie Mellon Health Services page titled “Alcohol & Other Drugs” titled “Alcohol & Other Drugs” only includes information about alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.

Advocating against the use of drugs is an easy stance for any university. The challenging, complex decision is to recognize the reality of drug abuse and promote real understanding about their effects.