Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Glow Parties: What Parents Need to Know

They’re marketed as being teen-friendly with no alcohol or drugs and lots of positive over-18 support and supervision, but are so-called glow parties the wholesome and safe activity that they purport to be?

Not according to ABC News. They report that these parties that are open to kids who are at least 16 (for a modest upfront fee of up to $40) often provide kids with access to synthetic drugs like Molly, a dangerous substance that has been known to cause overdose and other medical emergencies in users.

Angelo Valente is the executive director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. He told ABC News, “Molly is a drug we have seen being available at many of these ‘glow’ parties.”

What Is Molly?

Molly is a type of Ecstasy, another synthetic club drug that has been shown to have negative effects in users, especially the teenagers who often abuse the drug at parties and then make unsafe choices under the influence. It is touted as the purest form of Ecstasy available, but the fact is that the drugs that are sold under this moniker often contain less MDMA, the active ingredient in Ecstasy, than pills sold as Ecstasy. And to teens who are uninitiated in the drug-using world, some are sold Molly when the drug they actually receive is crank or crystal meth, a much cheaper drug to produce.

Dangers of Molly Abuse

Assuming the drug your son purchases is actually Molly, the risks are significant. The drug causes the body’s temperature to rise while it increases heart rate and blood pressure. Combined with dehydration, which is common in these hot, crowded dance parties, this can quickly cause heat stroke. For many teens who suffer from the issue at a party where few are paying attention, the effects can be severe.

Supposedly, the glow sticks that are used at the party—and whence comes the name “glow party”—enhance the effects of Molly use, thus drawing in kids who seek out these parties solely for the purpose of enjoying a more potent high.

Cracking Down

In the places where these glow parties are popular, law enforcement is stepping up their monitoring due to the increased rates of Molly-related emergency room admissions for teen attendees. And while party promoters ensure parents that they are working hard to protect their kids, if your son is going to these parties in order to buy or use drugs, it’s likely that he’ll be able to find what he’s looking for.

Similarly, if your son is struggling with a chronic substance abuse problem or is drug-dependent, simply barring him from access to drugs or alcohol won’t address the underlying issues. Protecting your son for the long-term from the unavoidable consequences of drug use will require professional intervention. Contact us at Muir Wood today to learn more about how our unique teen-focused program for boys can help your son learn how to get and stay drug-free.