Teen On Life Support After Taking Molly; Father Shares Photo Of Daughter While Fighting For New Regulations

Teen Almost Dies Twice And Father Wants The World To Know Why
After his teenage daughter took a drug that nearly killed her, he took to Facebook to share the dangers of raves. Photo courtesy of Keith Roehm Facebook

When 17-year-old Bianca Garten took the increasingly popular drug Molly at a rave on Saturday, she probably had no idea she would die twice before being resuscitated by medical staff as her father watched in horror. Her father Keith Roehm quickly made it his priority to share a photo of his daughter on life support lying on a hospital bed among a web of tubes and monitors in order to alert parents and authorities of club dangers.

The photo along with her father’s Facebook statuses have been shared by thousands since he began posting on Monday. "This could be your child. Mine was responsible and did well in school. These raves are death peddlers," Roehm posted on his Facebook page. “It is my intention to bring awareness to parents and the general public, everywhere, of the dangers of Ecstasy/Molly and the events that in my opinion, exploit the use of the drug.”

Garten is at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has since gone into renal failure. However, her father reports she had briefly woken up and has shown signs of improvement. Her parents must’ve taken a deep sigh of relief once they saw the worst is over, but the point her father is pushing will still be critical even after his daughter continues her recovery. Garten attended an electronic dance music festival, known as Skylab at the Denver Coliseum, and according to her father, several other people attending the same rave were admitted to hospitals around the area due to a bad batch of Molly.

Roehm continued to write on his Facebook page:

These events NEED to be 21 and over only. The minimum age right now is 16, that's too young. Either that or banned all together. The Police Officer I spoke with is all to aware of what goes on at these events, and yet they do nothing but openly admit that every time these raves blow in to town, every single time, people wind up in the E.R. in critical care. It could be your teenaged son or daughter next. Don't fool yourself! My daughter got good grades in school, had a job she attended every day after school, and she did her homework afterwards. She was responsible. The allure of this culture is very strong and all encompassing.

What Is Molly?

Despite its recent spotlight, Molly is not a new drug. In fact, it’s been around for over 100 years. Molly is only a nickname for MDMA or chemical strand 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine, which was patented in 1914 by pharmaceutical giant Merck. It was originally designed as a blood-clotting agent but wasn’t used until 1970 when psychologist Leo Zeff started giving it to patients for therapy sessions. Other psychologists quickly followed suit because of his great success.

Once it arrived to New York nightclubs in the late 1980s, it only took a few years for it to become the preferable drug at raves, such as the one Garten attended. But what happened to Garten that night that caused such terrible life-threatening episodes? According to her father, the club ran out of water, a key to surviving a roll with Molly because of its dehydrating elements.

The drug’s effects last approximately three to six hours and become dangerous when taken in hot crowded areas without water, causing serve dehydration that can lead to muscle breakdown along with kidney, liver, and cardiovascular failure. The drug is often “cut” or mixed with other harmful substances by someone else to stretch the batch, despite claims of it being pure, which is why it can cause unpredictable side effects and dangers when taken.

The drug is the core of ecstasy, which most everyone has heard of, except Molly is the purest form, giving way to feelings of euphoria, increased energy, empathy toward others, distortions of sensory and time perception. It increases the activity of three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, and according to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, an anti-drug organization dedicated to reducing teen drug abuse and addiction, Molly “will not cause cognitive impairment as it doesn’t kill brain cells,” contrary to popular belief.

The drug has gained so much attention in recent years, a conference called “The Truth About Molly” was held by Columbia University Students for Sensible Drug Policy along with the Drug Policy Alliance at Columbia University aimed at disseminating the misinformation surrounding the recreational drug Molly in order to discourage unnecessary and excessive legal enforcement. 

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