Though “club drug” Molly has gained national attention in recent weeks due to overdoses around the region and country, it’s a drug that has been on the radar of the Woburn Police Department for much longer than that.
Multiple overdoses at concerts, including several at the House of Blues in Boston, in recent months have led to deaths and an increased awareness around the country of the drug that is a synthetic form of ecstasy.
Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo said his officers were significantly ahead of the national curve as far as knowledge of the drug thanks to its participation in the Heroin Education Awareness Task Force. The group, known as HEAT, partners the city with six other police departments around the region.
“We try to stay on top of new trends,” said Ferullo. “That includes new ways to get drugs, new ways to sell drugs, and new ways they’re smuggling drugs regionally. We care about what’s impacting the quality of life in the communities that are impacted by the Woburn Court.”
According to the police chief, local officers learned about the increased use of Molly about 18 months ago. As a result, several officers traveled to Syracuse University to learn about the substance that was gaining popularity, mainly at events like concerts featuring electronic music.
Ferullo said he does not see a significant amount of the drug in the city. Police planned to educate parents and students about the dangers of Molly last week as part of parent-teacher night as Woburn High School.
“Prevention is huge,” said Ferullo. “The best way to approach this stuff is prevention and education. We’ll try to get rid of the drug, but more important we try to dry up demand for the drug.”
Though Ferullo said Molly is currently among the most well-known issues for police nationwide, it isn’t the biggest concern for officers on the list of drug problems. Ferullo said what is concerning about the use of Molly is that it highlights the increased concern in recent years that drug use is beginning in teenagers in many cases now more than in the past.
“Molly is getting the headlines. But there are still other issues that need to be dealt with in addition to that,” said Ferullo. “We have an all-inclusive approach to substance abuse. This is more visible currently, but we are on top of this at all times.”