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'Way Overboard': Molly OD Cases a Wake-Up Call at Wesleyan, Students Say

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Students at Wesleyan University say they’re well aware of drug use at the school — but it was still a wake-up call when 10 of their classmates and two visitors were hospitalized after possible overdoses of the club drug Molly.

“Like, what are we doing here and why are we doing this?” Veronica Alverado, a senior, told NBC News on Monday on campus. “Because there is no reason to be getting this dangerous.”

“As college students, we are supposed to experiment, we are supposed to be living, we are 18 to 22, we are supposed to be having fun,” she said. “But there is a difference between having fun and going way overboard.”

The 12 people were taken to the hospital on Sunday after taking Molly, a refined form of Ecstasy, on Saturday night. Eight were still in the hospital on Monday, including two students in critical condition and two in serious condition.

It was not clear where the students took the drugs or where they came from. Police are investigating, NBC Connecticut reported.

The university president, Michael S. Roth, pleaded with students on Monday to “please, please stay away” from illegal drugs.

“These drugs can be altered in ways that make them all the more toxic,” he said. “Take a stand to protect your fellow students.

On the campus of Wesleyan, a private school of about 2,900 students roughly halfway between New York and Boston, students talked about the hospitalizations on Monday as they made their way to and from classes.

Aaron Stryker, a freshman, said that it was “a very severe instance of people being harmed by the culture of the school.” But he argued that drug use is part of any college atmosphere.

“People tend to trust their closer friends, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing,” he said. “If they have someone who they trust more than other people, sometimes you don’t know where that person is getting their stuff from.”

Greg Lurito, a sophomore, said that people on campus are “pretty disappointed and have been thrown off.”

“It’s not just this campus, but campuses everywhere. People do drugs, they pop Molly, they drink, smoke all of that,” he said. “This is college. Kids are going to decide to do things like this.”

IN-DEPTH

— Tracy Jarrett

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