Shelley Goldsmith, a 19-year-old University of Virginia student, died this summer after collapsing at a Washington, D.C., club, after allegedly taking the synthetic drug, "Molly." Her parents, Rob and Dede Goldsmith, join The Doctors to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug.
"When we got the call it was, like, 'Molly? Who's Molly?'" Dede says. "I hadn't even ever heard of it."
But, she says, "all the kids have."
Molly is the powder form of MDMA, a synthetic drug with amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties, and is considered one of the most dangerous illegal drugs.
Its popularity among college students has increased, with at least three deaths this summer being attributed to the effects of the drug. Use of MDMA rose in the early 2000s, with 15 percent of college students saying they had tried it in 2001. Many believe it's popularity may be due to its integration into pop culture, claiming performers such as Kanye West and Miley Cyrus glorify the drug in their songs.
"They are singing about it like it's some pure, party drug," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. "It's not."
"We hope ... that people in that age group learn that this is not safe, that this is not a soft drug. There are real dangers to using this — people have died from it. Shelley died from it. Others have died from it," Rob says.