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JACK SIMPSON: When Joe met Molly

This may or may not be a true story, but the facts are all too familiar.

Joe is a small-town boy from a good family who finishes school and moves to the big city to seek his fortune. He cannot find a well-paying job with benefits, so he works part time at whatever he can find to do. He meets new friends, some good and some not so good. A few of them have alcohol and drug problems and questionable reputations. They hang out with Joe, and he is far from home and welcomes new buddies.

One day while in their company, Joe meets Molly and gradually decides he likes her. She is not the sweet girl-next-door. She is not cute, does not look great in a bathing suit, isn’t bright nor the kind of young lady you would take home to meet Mom. No, no, Molly is part of the new culture. She is an active ingredient in Ecstasy. Molly is a drug, a toxic mixture of chemicals created in a laboratory somewhere. The mixture may or may not have undergone purity tests. Being synthetic, the origin of each drug may be unknown.

Joe didn’t much care what Molly contained. He was having a party with her and friends, and he liked the euphoric high he got when he was with her. He did not look down the road to see what lies ahead.

Somewhere along that road, he was seen at a MARTA station “bombed out of his mind” with Molly. He was experiencing a panic attack and psychosis. It wasn’t known how or where he got Molly, or if he found her as a powder or in a capsule, or if she was injected — observers only knew she was a dangerous date and Joe was with her! Joe and Molly disappeared. Where they went, no one knew. Joe was playing the dangerous game of Russian roulette. Had he been robbed, knocked on the head, placed in a ditch somewhere?

Joe’s family was deeply concerned and reported him missing. Days went by and no word of his whereabouts. Police agencies were notified. People expended time and money looking for Joe. The search was ongoing.

Finally, word came. Joe was in the city jail. He had been arrested for disturbing the peace. He and his synthetic drug Molly were together when they broke the law and were arrested. Their big date was over for now. Their bizarre behavior was temporarily under control.

Joe is most probably depressed at this time. His family has bonded him out of jail and is seeking help for him. They are trying to discourage anymore dates with Molly. This is a major challenge that he may or may not be able to meet. We offer prayers and wish him luck. His future depends on how he handles the present.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.