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Molly: what clubgoers say about the drug – and why officials are worried

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Another teen died of an apparent overdose at Boston’s House of Blues last week, prompting city officials to investigate. And in Washington, police officials are looking into whether a death over the weekend at a club was also due to the drug.

Despite the deaths, many of those deep into the electronic dance music scene are unapologetic about the intimate connection between “EDM,” as they call it, and Molly and other drugs. Most eschew alcohol and defend what they say is a euphoric, touch-inducing escape offered by the drug and music combination.

“The idea ... about being able to cut loose and be someone else for the night couldn't be closer to the truth,” e-mails Keenan Hiett, a post-production editor in Los Angeles.

“I am aware of the dangers, and I think most people who partake are as well,” he continues. “I think the efforts to demonize it are short-sighted and unfair to the hundreds of thousands of patrons who are responsible with their use of MDMA, and it's a bit unfortunate that it's publicly starting to gain so much scorn.”

Public health officials say MDMA causes a surge of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Users cite increased energy and feelings of closeness and empathy, among other sensory distortions. The quest for this high among EDM enthusiasts means that festivals and concerts are rampant with the illicit substances.

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