The father of Shelley Goldsmith, a University of Virginia student who died suddenly in Washington, D.C., now says he thinks the drug Molly led to his daughter's death. The drug is suspected to be behind the deaths of four people in recent weeks and is dangerous because what's being sold as Molly - often isn't.
"It's kind of like Russian Roulette. It's like a gun to your head and you don't know which chamber has the bullet on," said Christopher Holstege, medical director at the Blue Ridge Poison Center.
The drug is a pure form of MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. It often comes in pills that resemble candy.
"It distorts your reality and that's what a lot of people are going for," Holstege said.
But the real danger is what's being portrayed as Molly is sometimes something else, which can cause those life-threatening effects like seizures. Holstege says studies have shown that some pills even contain products found in bath salts.
"When you're getting a substance you don't know what it is," Holstege said. "The drug dealer is not looking out for your health. You never know what's going to be in that tablet you take or that powder that you take."
Emergency room statistics from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) show that nationally, cases involving ecstasy have doubled over the last decade, going from 10,000 to more than 20,000.
Goldsmith's father is offering a warning, saying his daughter likely died after taking Molly. He told the Bristol Herald Courier: "She loved life. She made a bad decision and it cost her her life."
While he says he doesn't blame the university, he does say it has a chance to educate its students about the dangerous drug.
Goldsmith's toxicology report has not yet been released.
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