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MDMA-glorifying hip-hop stars encourage fans to try the drug, says study
Posted in Advocacy

“Let’s take it back to the first party
When you tried your first molly
And came out of your body…” – “Blood On The Leaves” – Kanye West

“Now you know I’m on that molly
Told her I’m not tryna polly
I’m just lookin for somebody to ride…” – “Molly” – French Montana

These are just some of the songs by the most talented, successful and influential hip-hop artists with a huge fan following. Though they are pieces of music, the lyrics seem to encourage the use of “molly”, another name for ecstasy or MDMA, by focusing on the drug’s euphoric effects. A popular rave drug among the youth and a much-loved topic in pop culture, MDMA or molly is mostly abused as a club drug. Now, the drug has found a substantial place in the pop culture.

For decades, rap music has been playing an important role in pushing young people toward drugs. And now, a recent study has highlighted the role of hip-hop lyrics in influencing the decision to initiate the use of MDMA, particularly among African-Americans. According to Dr. Khary Rigg, who led the study, the “highly regarded and trend-setting,” artists are encouraging the use of the risky drug.

Descriptive lyrics encourage drug use

The study, published recently in the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, tried to investigate the extent to which African-American MDMA users listened to hip-hop/rap music and the influence that the pro-MDMA message in the lyrics had on their decision to start using it. The study that quizzed 100 adults of African-American descent warned about the ill-effects of the drug to teenagers seeking a quick thrill. When asked, the study participants agreed to feel safe trying the drug only after its mention by trendsetting rappers in their lyrics. The study also observed that as the hip-hop/rock numbers glorified the drug as a party drug and something that lowered sexual inhibitions, the listeners felt encouraged to try it out. As per one of the participants, whenever the rappers mentioned drugs in their lyrics, they could be seen either partying, drinking, smoking or having sex. No one talked about the ill effects or the risk of an addiction.

According to the researchers, high profile rappers, including Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West have glorified molly in their songs and their music has been persuading listeners to use the drug. Though not as dangerous as opioids, the drug is linked to a host of psychiatric problems, sexual risk-taking and adverse health outcomes.

First study to check influence of hip-hop/rap music on drug use

MDMA is used by adolescents and young people in parties to experience a sense of euphoria, lose inhibition, enhance the state of mind and increase feelings of closeness and sensuality. MDMA is rarely used alone and is often mixed with other addictive substances like alcohol and marijuana.

While prior studies explored the addictive effects of drugs on the European and White population, the latest research is the first of its kind to check the effect of hip-hop music in influencing African-Americans to try molly. As per the researchers, the demographic profile of MDMA users has changed over the past two decades with a subsequent increase in the African American community. According to Rigg, the rappers and their music might become an effective medium of prevention, harm reduction and health promotion messages.

Live drug-free life

An accredited and licensed substance abuse treatment facility, Sovereign Health of El Paso, Texas, provides drug addiction treatment to male and female adults with high levels of care in a serene and safe environment. Treatment for MDMA addiction combines medically supervised detox along with various therapies and counseling sessions. To know more about the recovery programs offered by our well-trained and competent staff or to locate our drug rehab centers, you can call our 24/7 helpline number and speak to representative. For instant help, you can chat online.

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