CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Deputies are investigating reports of a new, weird, powerful drug concoction.
The drug, known as "mollies," is actually ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms mixed with cocaine or heroin.
The drug has been sold on the streets of Scarbro, Oak Hill, Glen Jean and Mount Hope, according to a statement from the Fayette County Sheriff's office.
This is the first that Sgt. Glenn Chapman said he has heard of the drug. The department first began hearing of the substance last week. In fact, they haven't even seen the drug in person yet.
So far, they are relying on information from those who have used the drug.
Users told police the drug is tan in color, similar to crack cocaine. Detectives suspect users ingest the drug orally because of its "chewy" texture and consistency.
Dealers are advertising the drug as Ecstasy but the effects are said to be far more potent than a normal dose of the party drug.
Some users said they couldn't remember the three days immediately after they ingested it, Chapman said.
A person described by authorities as a "well-known local drug user" told detectives a single dose of mollies caused him to hallucinate and "lose total control of his mind" for two days. The user, who told police he had used various narcotics since adolescence, said he "never experienced anything like the effects of this drug," and was forced to seek medical attention because of its effects.
"He came to us on his own after leaving the hospital," Chapman said. "He told us 'You guys have got to get this stuff off the street. It's dangerous.'"
The user told deputies another person passed the drugs off to him as Ecstasy, something he had experience with. He couldn't recall how much he had taken, Chapman said.
Deputies who have dealt with individuals under the influence of mollies said the users could not control their body movements, were hyperventilating, exhibited profuse sweating and extremely high blood pressure. Users also couldn't comprehend simple questions or commands.
"The biggest thing is that they're just tee-totally out of their minds," Chapman said of the affected users.
The detective said investigators have checked with law enforcement agencies in Raleigh County and found that the drug was not yet noted in the Beckley area. State police investigators told Chapman they haven't encountered the drug. Detectives with the Metro Drug Unit in Charleston were unaware of it.
Sheriff Steve Kessler said the drug is apparently just now hitting the streets.
"The 'normal' drug problems that we deal with - cocaine, crack, marijuana, methamphetamine and the epidemic of prescription drug abuse - is bad enough," Kessler said in the release. "Southern West Virginia already leads the nation in deaths attributed to drug overdose. We certainly do not need batches of homemade poison circulating on the streets of Fayette County."
The sheriff warned that even legal drugs if taken improperly have the potential to kill the user or cause serious health problems. With home-manufactured drugs now prevalent on the streets, he said users have no idea what they are taking.
"Users of illicit drugs are literally taking their lives into their own hands," Kessler said.
He said normal investigative procedure would call for investigators to track down the source of the drug and eliminate the source. Detectives are working to determine where the drug is coming from.
"Given the potential lethality of this drug, however, we felt that we needed to get the word out that people need to be extremely cautious about trying new types of drugs," Kessler said. "The effects may be far more than they bargained for."
Friday November 4, 2011
by Ashley B. Craig