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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A new drug is moving through the streets of the Midlands. It's called "Molly."

Narcotics officers at the Columbia Police Department busted a man outside of a concert last week for selling the drug.

It's causing some concern.

Video obtained by News19 showed the flashing lights and massive crowd size typical of rave concerts.

The concert, which took place Oct. 22 at the Columbia Township Auditorium, was for a DJ known as "Pretty Lights."

Agent Anthony Branham with the Columbia Police Department's Narcotics Unit said Brian Dean Bradigan was arrested in the parking lot about an hour before the concert started.

Once arrested, Bradigan was found to be in possession of about nine grams of ketamine, two grams of "Molly" and 34 'hits' of LSD, all at a street value of about $1,200, according to Branham.

"The amount that we found on him is the amount that we'd find on someone who distributes it," Branham said.

"Molly," found in the bust, is the focus of new concern.


"'Molly' is a powder form of ecstasy," said Branham, "and we started seeing a lot more of it approximately four years ago."

It's being popularized in music from singers like Miley Cyrus and Madonna, to rapper Trinidad James, which is believed to cause a rise in its usage.

Branham said he's seen it on the streets of Columbia, in the downtown and Five Point areas, as well as near the University of South Carolina's campus, and in the Vista area of the city.

"We're still seeing it popping up among the high schoolers," Branham said.

"Molly" is made up of the purest form of a substance known as MDMA. Experts say for years MDMA has been mixed with other drugs and then sold as ecstasy.

That is part of the reason Dr. Bryan Fox, Manager at the Palmetto-Richland Adolescent Recovery Center, says it's so attractive to party and concert goers.

"The music sounds more intense and the lights are much more dramatic," said Fox.

Dr. Fox's work includes intensive outpatient therapy with teenagers, and he says he's seen more teenagers who say they've used the drug recently.

"Now that it's gaining popularity, the age at which people try it, or a kid becomes aware of it, has gotten a little younger," Fox said.

One of the things adding to the increased usage in teenagers and young adults alike is easier access because of the Internet, but that poses a major concern for safety, Fox said.

"The reality is that you really don't know what you're getting until you take it," said Fox. "People assume that if they were told that's what they're buying, that must be what they're getting."

Branham said there were specific things concerned parents could pay attention to when it comes to "Molly."

"First of all, it will cause them to become lethargic, their speech slurred, almost as if they were drunk," he said. "However, you don't smell the alcohol on their breath."

"Be on the lookout for any type of pill with any type of strange logo on it. Also, any type of powder that may be in their room and in a small baggie, or something like that."

News19 will continue to follow the details of this drug and its usage in Columbia.

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