In 2012, the United States Customs and Border Protection reported 2,670 confiscations of MDMA, a major increase from 186 in 2008. Since 2004, there has been a 123 percent rise in emergency room visits due to MDMA ingestion.
Meanwhile, Eventbrite, an online domain which offers ticketing services for event organizers to sell, promote and publicize various shows and festivals, has seen ticket sales for electronic dance music festivals quadruple in the last year.
Many of the 300,000 guests who attended Ultra Music Festival in Miami this past year were stunned to learn that the massive event was celebrating its 15th anniversary. But only in the last decade, Ultra Music Festival has seen a growth of 50% in attendees, leading the event to add a third day of festivities.
It is apparent that while the popularity of electronic dance music has exploded in the last few years, so has the use of MDMA.
Why has molly exploded? Is the use of the drug growing because electronic dance music is becoming trendier than ever before? Or is it simply a coincidence that there is a visible correlation between the growth of EDM and the increase of MDMA usage.
Recently, Electric Zoo, a New York EDM festival, cancelled its third day due to health concerns related to multiple cases of MDMA overdoses among festival goers.
So is EDM to blame for the death of 19 year old Shelley Goldsmith, who collapsed a few weeks ago in a Washington, D.C. nightclub after ingesting molly?
In an article featured in The Atlantic, titled "Electronic Dance Music's Love Affair with Ecstasy: A History", writer P. Nash Jenkins writes: "The idea of using MDMA [has] become a key commodity for the electronic music industry. Some of the biggest artists [are] making overt references to molly in their lyrics. In consequence, MDMA is now to EDM what Ciroc and fat blunts were to mid- 2000 rap: substances whose implications paint a picture of the scene.
But do EDM artists like Avicii, Steve Aoki or Hardwell actually encourage their fans to take MDMA? Or do party- goers simply take the drug in order to improve their experience and enhance their enjoyment?
Although MDMA use and electronic dance music have grown simultaneously in popularity, does it not seem awfully irrational to blame an entire genre of music for deaths and accidents related to the exploitation of MDMA?
What do you think about the strong growth correlation between MDMA and EDM? Who's to blame for increase in MDMA-related incidents, and why has the drug exploded in the last few years? Lets us know in the comments below.
"Molly is on track to be a top competitor on the World Stage in 2021" for high diving. She also started the inspirational hashtag #BraveGang.
MTL Blog got the chance to get to know Molly a little better, and now we're here to share our interview with you — so you can, too.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
How long have you been diving? Have you ever gotten injured? If so, what happened?
I started regular springboard and platform (10 Meters) diving in 2008 and continued the sport for 12 years.
I competed for Team Canada in my junior career followed by a four-year division one Florida State University diving career.
During this diving career, I suffered from many wrist injuries and went through six wrist surgeries due to the constant impact from hands-first diving for 12 years.
When I graduated in May of 2021, I knew it was time for me to retire from the regular sport of diving as my wrists couldn't keep up. BUT, there was a spark in me missing.
I decided to follow my long-time dream of high diving as this sport requires feet-first entries from insane heights.
I started high diving in August after moving to Montreal to pursue the dream. After my first ever jump from the 20-meter platform, I fell in love.
Flying, adrenaline, and performance. I do not plan to retire from this amazing sport any time soon. An exciting journey ahead.
What's the wildest dive you've ever done? Were you scared?
My coaching staff and I have done an awesome job at keeping some of my craziest dives a secret to the world so that when we compete them it will be an epic moment.
Let's just say I've done some pretty wild dives off the 20-meter platform including triples in many directions. Was I scared? ABSOLUTELY! There is always a level of fear being up that high knowing you are about to take a leap.
But, my coach, Stephane Lapointe and I have always stuck to our number one rule; only go up for a 20-meter dive when you are physically and mentally prepared.
Learning how to fly your fears in the right direction so they feel controlled and safe allows high divers to execute our bravery in the most elegant ways.
I am also surrounded by two of the most talented female high divers in the world; Lysanne Richard & Jessica Macaulay.
These two brave women inspire me every day with their diving and cheer me on as I enter their amazing sport. Truly an honour to train beside such talented women.
How did you grow such a large following on TikTok and Instagram? What's it feel like to know thousands of people are watching your videos?
When I started high diving, I really wanted to share my dives with the world every time I learned a new one.
Due to our decision to hide a lot of our training from social media, I began to create a lot of behind-the-scenes videos of the sport of high diving. I would post videos walking around in the rafters that hold the lights at the Montreal Olympic Stadium as this is where our platform is attached.
After roughly five months of high diving and video creating, we hit 2 million followers on TikTok! A technique I decided to use was creating my own hashtag for all of my brave followers: #BraveGang.
The message I was trying to portray was that you do not need to jump off 20 meters to be considered brave. Bravery comes in all beautiful shapes and sizes and deserves to be celebrated at every level.
With this hashtag, we created a movement allowing individuals to share their own unique beautiful brave stories with the world and know that they had a community behind them supporting them.
This movement brings tears to my eyes every day and I am so inspired by all the "Bravies" in the "BraveGang."
Jessica Cadoch, executive director of the Montreal Psychedelic Society, told MTL Blog that momentum really "mushroomed — for lack of a better term" when Michael Pollan’s book about the science of psychedelics, How to Change Your Mind, came out in 2018, the same year recreational cannabis became legal in Canada.
With 2020 (mostly! finally!) behind us, Quebecers are looking to the future, wondering, "What's next?" — particularly, in the world of health and wellness.
The psychedelics movement is one answer. But it's also more than that. According to Cadoch, it's "a revolution."
Field Trip Health, a psychedelics-centred wellness company, co-founded by former Montrealer Joseph del Moral, describes psychedelic medicine on its website as "various techniques using psychedelic molecules for improving mental health and overall wellbeing."
The most commonly used molecules come from psilocybin, which can be found in "magic" mushrooms, and other molecules in drugs like MDMA and ketamine, which produce varying degrees of psychoactive effects.
Field Trip is also in the process of developing its own psychedelic molecules to be used medically.
FT-104, for example, aims to be as potent as psilocybin with a shorter trip time — useful in medical settings when patients don't want to be holed up in a clinic for hours while high.
"There really hasn't been much advancement in the treatment of chronic mental health conditions, especially depression, in the last 30 years," del Moral told MTL Blog.
"The science behind psychedelics shows very high response rates on the order of 50 to 70% and the effects are often long-lasting. Ketamine on the order of weeks to months. Psilocybin and MDMA on the order of months to years."
What would a psychedelic-assisted therapy patient experience?
Del Moral described the process for a patient being treated with ketamine at a Field Trip clinic — located in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago — step-by-step.
The patient is screened by a psychiatrist to make sure they're suitable for this treatment.
The patient comes in for an initial meeting with a therapist who prepares them for their psychedelic experience.
The patient comes in for their first dosing day. At the appointment, del Moral says "they're sitting in this super comfortable zero-gravity chair that reclines all the way flat, they have an eye mask on, they're listening to a specially curated list of psychedelic music, they have a weighted blanket on them. They're in this experience with their own thoughts for an hour... we spent a lot of time and effort designing the clinics to be beautiful comfortable spaces."
When the patient comes out of that part of the experience, the therapist — who's in the room with them — engages them in a light form of therapy called "exploratory therapy," during which they discuss thoughts the person had under the influence. A course of ketamine-assisted therapy is typically six doses over three to four weeks.
The insights patients develop during the psychedelic experience are written down by the therapist and used in future therapy sessions. This is called integration therapy.
"What we hear most often from our patients is they thought about the [life experiences causing them suffering] in a whole new way. They looked at it from a different angle they'd never been able to consider before," del Moral said.
What’s currently available in Montreal?
At this point, ketamine is the only psychedelic drug doctors can legally prescribe in Canada, so it's the only form of psychedelic-assisted therapy being offered in the country.
Earlier this month, Mindspace, a Montreal-based wellness clinic, announced it was launching the first psychedelic-assisted therapy program in Quebec with plans to begin treating patients using ketamine before the end of 2020.
Mindspace founder Dr. Joe Flanders told MTL Blog the clinic is administering doses of ketamine using SPRAVATO, a nasal spray recently approved by Health Canada.
This is the first time ketamine has been approved for this purpose.
"It allows us to start helping our clients by enhancing therapy with a psychedelic compound, but doing it in a totally legit and above-board context," Dr. Flanders said.
Mindspace has also been offering "Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration" for the past year-and-a-half.
This program coaches people who "intend to or have had psychedelic experiences" on their own time, but does not provide access to psychedelic compounds.
"What we’re really waiting for is the green light to use psilocybin and MDMA because those are the most impactful tools," said Dr. Flanders.
He estimated that we’re three to five years away from "totally mainstream above-board access" to psilocybin and MDMA.
First, the drugs need to "cross the finish line" of phase three clinical trials, then be approved by the FDA and Health Canada.
After that, Dr. Flanders said there will be an enormous need for mental health professionals trained to deliver this new kind of psychotherapy.
Then there's the question of how these drugs will be regulated in Quebec.
"The rest of Canada tend[s] to land in similar places around regulating certain medical practices. Quebec always sort of does its own thing and it’s very hard to predict if they’ll be ahead of the curve or behind the curve," Dr. Flanders said.
In addition to medical use, del Moral said Field Trip is preparing for the non-medical wellness uses of psychedelics.
The company is growing and studying 25 species and strains of magic mushrooms in Jamaica through a partnership with the University of the West Indies.
They want to learn how to make extractions and quantify amounts of psilocybin in the mushrooms so people know how much they're dosing.
"That was an investment we made thinking that sometime in the next five to 10 years there might be a wellness market opening up around the world [...] but these jurisdictions are opening up much faster than we had anticipated," he said.
Dr. Flanders agreed in terms of hoping psychedelics become available to a broader spectrum of people, including those who are "really stressed out" or facing "the kinds of ups and downs many of us face without qualifying for a psychiatric disease."
Cadoch told MTL Blog psychedelics could lead to a paradigm shift, "forcing us to reimagine concepts of care."
"The difference... is that we live in a world where [patients say], "Hey, I have a symptom. Treat my symptom.' But with psychedelic therapy it’s, 'Let’s get to the root cause of things,'" she explained.
"Psychedelics do not fix you. [...] Psychedelic-assisted therapy with proper preparation, proper integration and the proper tools to make sense of your experience can provide you with an opportunity to start working on yourself. But you still have to do that work."
Cadoch said activists in the psychedelics community are worried about for-profit companies entering this grassroots space without concern for existing morals.
She said she'd like to see professionals in the field sign the North Star ethics pledge, a promise to focus on shared values and ethics when making psychedelic products.
Cadoch also said she hopes for equal access to treatment — something Mindspace committed to in launching its accessibility program.
This type of therapy isn't currently eligible for insurance coverage. Between the cost of new drug formats and hours of specialized therapy, "it is a really expensive process," Cadoch said.
Down below is a list that composes of great activities you can do this weekend from Thursday, September 7th until Sunday, September 10th! It's officially September and everyone has sadly started school by now! So, to make up for the shitty weather and school starting lets enjoy the festivities in Montreal that are coming to an end this summer 2017.
Let's start to celebrate the beginning of September by enjoying all the insane things you can do this weekend! On the plus side, most activities are even free this week! Rain or shine, this weekend will be A1 and a goodbye to August but a hello to September.
If you love dancing and seeing shows, then be sure to go to one of the Quartiers Danses performances in Montreal September 7th through September 17th, 2017. There will be a variety of showings that feature performances by local, national and international artists.
These amazing creations are mini pies on a stick!! They're available at Montreal's best spot for all things pie, Rustique Pies in Saint Henri area. They make these awesome desserts called 'Lollipies' in flavours like apple, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and so much more!
The treetop trail is called Wild Walk and it was created by Wild Center, a not-for-profit organization that offers visitors the chance to explore the Adirondacks (located in upstate New York) from a whole new perspective. The Wild Walk is an elevated trail that mounts 30 feet above ground level, and thus offering the most spectacular views of the Adirondack mountains.
If you happen to just ADORE lobster, then this "lobster cone" will complete your life! It is exploding all over Montreal and you might say that it's more popular than the doughnut ice cream cones! Some call it a lobster horn , but when I read the name "lobster cone" my mind was blown as summer flashed before my eyes.
BOATS. BOATS. BOATS! Yes the Montreal In-Water Boat Show is free and runs September 8th to September 10th this year. The Montreal In-Water Boat Show is the only such show in the Province of Quebec which allow visitors to examine, visit and have free demo rides of the boat shown in the water.
When: From September 8th to September 10th
Where: Old Port of Montreal, in the Jacques-Cartier basin
Tattoos are honestly amazingpieces of art and we Montrealers are lucky enough to be hosting Quebec's biggest tattoo festival! The Art Tattoo Show Montreal will be taking place this summer downtown and it looks LIT AF! You can expect nothing but a huge event filled with diverse tattoo artists, great purchases to make, and an overall fabulous ambiance considering that this is the 15th edition!
Kleine Shoppe is a brand cafe (first opening in May 2017) in Montreal that also acts as a bakery with gluten free dessert and even some vegan options. They are located on 3027 Notre Dame West which is just minutes away from Lionel metro.
From September 6th through September 9th, you can join the OUMF festival for some free concerts, exhibitions, streets performances and more! For its 7th Edition, OUMF is bringing the block party back to its roots, with 3 stages programmed by M for Montréal, a big comedy show and tons of street activities.
When: From September 6th through September 9th
Where: Various Locations ( Main location Quartier latin)
Well, it's the 3rd edition of the Ancient Future Festival by La Bacchanale! They feature both local and international artists and this year is going to be LIT since the master of electro Fritz Kalkbrenner from Berlin is on the line-up!
When: September 8 and 9, 2017
Where: Quai de l'Horloge and at Hangar 16 in the Old Port
@firefitbootcamp_ will be hosting a boot camp to raise funds for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey. Come work hard, and give back to the people of Houston. All proceeds will be donated to the victims of this disaster.
If you love corn and fresh foods, then be sure to check out Quebec's Largest "Farmers Market" hosted at the Olympic stadium on September 10, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is truly something for everyone at this farmers market whether it be seeing the animals, buying flowers, or eating some delicious natural food.
Art and a lake side view is a perfect pair and you can participate at Monttreal's Art by the Lake held on the waterside grounds of Stewart Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both September 9th and September 10th.
When: September 9th and September 10th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also known as Momenta, the Montreal Photo Month is something you won't want to miss! MOMENTA is a leading international biennale dedicated to the image. Since its beginnings in 1989, MOMENTA produces a unique and exciting opportunity to discover the latest trends in photography, video and lens-based art. For each edition, a guest curator proposes a theme to explore and selects roughly 20 to 40 artists whose works are presented in 15 venues across Montréal.
Montreal's Oysterfest is goingto take place on September 10th from 12-10pm at Gare Viger in the Old Port! This festival started all the way back in 2009 and has grown to become a celebrated and anticipated end of summer event in the city.
If you thought summer festivals were over, well think again! Not only is there going to be another festival in Montreal before summer ends, but it happens to be one of the most artistic festivals in all of Montreal.
This festival isn't only dedicated to electro music, is also features combining musical disciplines, visual arts, and circus arts for the ultimate experience! The bet part about this festival is that is is located in the heart of Old Montreal at the Clock Tower (Quai de l’Horloge) and tickets are pretty damn cheap.via @ancientfuturefest
Have you guessed which festival it is yet? Well, it's the 3rd edition of the Ancient Future Festival by La Bacchanale! They feature both local and international artists and this year is going to be LIT since the master of electro Fritz Kalkbrenner from Berlin is on the line-up!
The Ancient Future Festival will feature the hottestelectronic music, visual arts and the most extravagant performances that will blow your mind. It will take place on September 8 and 9, 2017 at the Quai de l'Horloge and at Hangar 16 in the Old Port and tickets are either $28 for the day or $55 both the whole day.
All artists are from the house and techno electronic scenes so you can expect nothing less than great music and a fabulous time! This year, the line-up will feature Kevin Saunderson, Étienne de Crécy, Omar Souleyman, Victor Ruiz, Eagles & Butterflies, Mall Grab, Johnny Trika, Mad Rey and Folamour, Project Pablo, Atroxx, Rico Shae, Kris Tin, Nymra & Sofisticated, Zepha, Obolète Collective and TGV.
In addition, for its 3rd edition, the festival adds a trip-hop and hip-hop component to its programming. Brooklyn's hip-hop duo The Underachievers will present their latest Renaissance opus, accompanied by Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke, local rising star Brown, and Kgoon, Grandbuda and Zeina.
The best thing is that this festival is conscious of minimizing its impact on the environment. This is why an eco-responsible system is put in place from the conception to the dismantling of the festival.