Tainted Molly Devastates Seattle Music Festival

By Chrisanne Grise 07/02/13

A concert-goer dies and 100 are hospitalized after taking "MDMA" that contained cocaine, LSD and meth.

"They don't even know what they're taking."
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A 21-year-old man died and many more were hospitalized after reportedly overdosing on a tainted batch of "Molly" at the Paradiso Festival in Washington this weekend. Overdose victims thought they were taking ecstasy—which contains MDMA, or "Molly"—but instead they got a more potent mix containing cocaine, LSD and meth, according to Sarina Fahrner, chief nurse at nearby hospital Quincy Valley Medical Center. She said there were more than 100 overdose patients throughout the weekend-long event. "When you have cocaine and LSD and meth all mixed together, it just does terrible things to your body," said Fahrner. "Your heart doesn't tolerate it very well, your breathing does not tolerate it very well." 25,000 people attended the sold-out electronic music event at the Gorge Amphitheatre, a venue which is seeing increasing drug use. "What we're seeing this year is much higher acuity—more severe—in the drug use," said Michele Wurl, a spokeswoman for the Quincy Valley Medical Center. “They don't even know what they're taking." An autopsy was scheduled yesterday for the man who died, and three people remain hospitalized in serious condition. Around 23 people were arrested at the festival for charges including possession or delivery of controlled substances, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.