Was Y&R Trippin’ With Drugged-Up-Drink Storyline? Ask the Experts!
Image: Howard Wise/JPI
Zoe’s drug prank at the Grand Phoenix Opening was eye-opening and possibly life-threatening.
Last week on Young and the Restless Zoe (Anna Grace Barlow) turned the Grand Phoenix opening into a Grand Guignol (sort of) by dumping Ecstasy into the sangria, leading to shenanigans and a rushed call for medical help when Sharon (Sharon Case) collapsed and Devon (Bryton James) sweated up the couch amid a panic attack. But let’s get real: how would this have played out in real life? Soaps.com phoned up Ashley McGee, RN and Director of Nursing at Mountainside Treatment Center to get the scoop on drinks spiked with drugs.
Soaps.com: In a nutshell, what is MDMA?
Ashley McGee: When you talk about it in detox, people use street names like Ecstasy, Molly – things like that. From a drug perspective, it’s an upper. The perception is that people think they are going to have a good time. It’s a recreational drug. You get a feeling great sensation, increased energy levels, empathy for other people.
Soaps.com: Zoe opens a capsule and dumps powdered MDMA into the drinks. Is that a typical way to take the drug?
McGee: In this day and age nothing is impossible with drugs. Most frequently if someone is referring to MDMA we’ll hear of dissolvable tablets; people put it under their tongue. That doesn’t mean it isn’t being mixed with other drugs, and there are other ways it can be taken.
Soaps.com: How long does it take to feel the effects? It feels like it hit everybody at the party really fast.
McGee: It’s a hard question to answer; it depends on the potency. Whatever dose you’re taking, you’re going to see an effect in 30 to 60 minutes. They’ll peak in about 120 minutes. People plateau in four to five hours.
Soaps.com: Is it addicting?
McGee: It has a psychological withdrawal, rather than a physical withdrawal. We hear from our clients that you have to use it for an extended period of time to alter the serotonin levels in your brain to get addicted. Opiates you can have minimal interaction with and get addicted. MDMA has more psychoactive effects.
Soaps.com: What are some of the side effects?
McGee: With any type of amphetamine, you run the risk of dehydration. There’s also elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure. MDMA causes you to pump more blood through your body, so it constricts your blood vessels. That alert mental status can be like confusion with some people. Some people are found to be very sweaty; their pupils constrict or dilate.
Soaps.com: So Devon’s sweating totally makes sense. What about interactions with other medications? Sharon was taking bipolar medication, and Devon went into a panic attack because it interacted with his anti-anxiety meds.
McGee: If someone is using Xanax or Klonopin for anxiety or depression, those are benzodiazepines. Any interaction could lead to cardiac complications, sometimes even over sedation. Sexual dysfunction, loss of appetite, stomach upset. Passing out is less likely.
Soaps.com: Is it possible Zoe’s MDMA was cut with something else?
McGee: More frequently than not clients tell us it’s laced with coke or Vicodin or hydrocodone. Anything they can get their hands on. It’s likely to be cut with something nowadays.
Soaps.com: So is spiking the punch with MDMA different than, say, spiking it with alcohol?
McGee: Alcohol being a downer, you’re not going to feel the uplifting effects. Some people drink alcohol just to chill out and calm themselves. People take MDMA looking for an elevated effect. It’s all based on the high you’re trying to get.
Final Verdict: B+ for accuracy