Joe Budden opens up about struggle with trendy drug 'Molly' - KMSP-TV

Joe Budden opens up about struggle with trendy drug 'Molly'

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NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

Molly is not a girl but the top trending drug at parties and on college campuses all across the country. Popping a Molly makes you feel happy and sexy, but experts say just one dose can mess up your brain for life.

Molly is the latest version of ecstasy that's often laced with other drugs like angel dust.

Madonna, Kanye West, and Rihanna have all mentioned Molly in songs.

"Now everyone is speaking about Molly like it's the thing to do," says Joe Budden, a hip hop artist.

Joe sat down with me in his New Jersey home to warn others about the dangers of a drug he binged on last summer, and says he barely survived.

"I didn't see a problem with the fact that maybe five days would go by without sleeping," Budden says. "I didn't see a problem with the fact that maybe I was hallucinating at times. I didn't see a problem with the fact that I just couldn't get up and walk sometimes."

Budden had a lot to lose: a hit reality TV show and finishing a solo album his fans were eagerly anticipating.

His album "No Love Lost" dropped this week. He says he only made it to this point because people who loved him intervened.

"It just altered your thinking process dramatically and for a thinker like myself that was like nothing I'd ever experienced before," he says.

Budden was lucky. Tens of thousands of Molly users end up in emergency rooms. It's so that bad federal health trackers say the number of hospital cases in the United States has more than doubled in six years.

Dr. Petros Levounis of the Addiction Institute of New York says using it just once can change the way your brain functions forever.  But users might not see it right away.

"People get a false sense of safety and security with Molly or ecstasy," Dr. Levounis says. "Meanwhile, what ecstasy does is give you long-term effects."

The long-term effects can be as panic attacks and depression, and immediate life-threatening physical conditions if you use it with other substances, which many users do.

"If ecstasy doesn't do much for you by itself, it you start combining it with other stimulants like cocaine or bath salts, the problem really skyrockets and you may end up having your heart stop," Dr. Levounis says.

None of these concerns seems to be slowing the spread of Molly. Social media makes it easy for buyers and sellers to meet up and deal under the law enforcement radar, says former DEA Agent Robert Strang, now of Investigative Management Group.

"All the ingredients you need you can buy at a pharmacy, and anybody can make it in their kitchen," Strang says. "That's part of the problem so it's very difficult to detect by law enforcement."

For now, Budden is hoping people will listen to his music and his message about Molly.

"I thought it was important for somebody, anybody to stand up and say, 'you know, I did that, it's corny,'" he says. "I'm just hoping that at the end of the day, it won't be me versus the entire music industry when it comes to who a 13-year-old should listen to regarding drugs."

Budden told me right now he is taking it one day at a time. But he is looking to the future and hopes that it includes a generation that loves music but rejects the self-destructive messages.

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