They gave us the shenanigans

“Double cups and Molly,” “We Trippy Mane,” “Turn Up.” All of these phrases are commonly used by young people today. The influential music that they listen to daily promotes the use of drugs.  It seems as though adolescents and young adults today have no understanding of the impact that the drugs have and their potentially harmful effects.

Often, marijuana alone does not seem to be enough and young people are increasingly seeking out a more potent substance.  That, in fact, is where the danger arises.  Many of my fellow Morgan students are looking for a better high. Meanwhile, the dealers are looking to attract and keep their customers which leads them to the desperate and often lethal scheme of lacing drugs with other substances.

“They wonder why I rarely smoke now,” says rapper, Kendrick Lamar, describing his initial encounters with marijuana on track eight “Mad City” of his latest album.  “Imagine if your first blunt had you foaming at the mouth?”  Marijuana can be tainted with substances such as heroin, crack or PCP (also known as angel dust)—and many people find out about this the hard way.

Also, today’s young adults are into everything that is vintage, including vintage drugs. They get a taste of that from musicians they look up to, crime and drug movies they love to watch with friends, and especially from the mentally destructive video games they play for hours. Feeling like they have missed out on something fun, they are into bringing back anything from the past that they never got to fully experience themselves.  It’s sad that so many young people have returned to drugs that were once popular such as Methylene Dioxymethamphetamine, better known as ecstasy.

This drug which became popular in the late 80’s among college students and in the 90’s with rave culture induces a euphoric feeling.  Other effects include hallucinations, memory loss, high body temperature and an increased heart rate.  Though not as common as other drugs, ecstasy can still be addictive.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that 43 percent of young adults and adolescent are drug dependent. These ecstasy users deliberately continued consuming the drug despite knowing the physical and psychological harms.  Also according to NIDA, three out of five users have testified to having withdrawal symptoms linked with their ecstasy use.  (More information on the subject can also be found on their MDMA web page.)

Ecstasy effects can last for an hour or two, if taken along.  But the pill can also be laced with methamphetamine and that can result in its effects lasting anywhere from eight to twelve hours.

Historically, it used to be simply called ecstasy but now there are multiple types and names for the drug, “transformers” and “molly’s” being the most common. Even the iconic musician, Madonna,  created a buzz by mentioning “molly” at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival this year.  “How many people in the crowd have seen Molly!?” she asked. She is not the first to mention it as countless rappers from Juicy J to Lil Wayne and even Kanye West have all made songs referencing the pill in their music.

“I made saying molly’s and lean cool” says Future an up and coming rap artist from Atlanta.

This seems to be a popular trend that’s spreading like a wildfire. It’s already difficult to reach younger people with lessons on what’s right or wrong, and how to and how not to behave.  Attempts to regulate the substances that are a futile effort—particularly when peer pressure is applied.

The combination of laced drugs and the easy availability of prescription or over the counter drugs like Codeine and Xanax are leading this generation to become zombies.  More importantly, such drugs sap young people’s ambition.  The potion known as “lean,” consisting of promethazine and Sprite, has been around for years and originated in the south.  Rappers today promote this concoction to youth, making them interested in trying it themselves and living a lifestyle similar to that portrayed by the artists.  “Where can we get the pills & lean,” is what countless Morgan State students say. These students seem to be constantly looking for a good time; they have the same sentiments as many other young adults across the country.

It is clear that the youth are influenced by national celebrities, but it’s also obvious that they are being deceived by their local drug dealers, as well. Many don’t even know they are buying drugs laced with other substances.  This practice is widespread and is becoming routine.

“They can have you doing crazy things and make you a completely different person,” says Tomika Gray, a 22-year-old Chicago native whose cousin has fallen victim to the effects of laced drugs.  She argues passionately against them. Just as we all should.

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