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Addiction in Fiction: Tainted Drugs and Molly in The CW’s TV Show iZombie (Part 2 of 2)

December 02, 2015
The NIDA Blog Team

[Spoiler alert! In this post, we reveal some plot lines in the CW show iZombie.]

In Part 1 of this post, we examined how a character in iZombie named Major found himself in a situation and an emotional state that led him to give in to the pressure he felt to take drugs.

In the episode, the characters say the drug is Utopium, which is a made-up drug. But based on how the characters are acting, it seems that the writers may have taken their inspiration from the drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy or Molly. (At first, the writers show only the “positive” effects and not the host of bad reactions.)

We see Ravi make mistakes that help illustrate just how risky drug use is—in the real world.

First, he thinks he’s taking less of a risk when he uses “pure” Utopium and that it won’t harm his health. This is just like some people who have bought into the myth that a “pure” drug is less harmful. In fact, one of the biggest myths about Molly (MDMA) is that it’s safer than other drugs, because it’s billed as being “pure” MDMA. Like the drug taken by Ravi, there is nothing pure about it.

In fact, Ravi’s big mistake is that he trusts the drug dealer who says he is actually offering untainted Utopium. Again, just like in the real world, people make the mistake of believing a drug dealer, when they have no idea, really, if a drug is pure vs. tainted vs. not actually the drug at all. Thinking a drug is “pure” because someone says so is just fantasy. 

Of 143 batches of Molly seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration between 2009 and 2013, only 13 percent actually contained any MDMA. That means that 87 percent (or 87 people out of 100) who would have bought “pure” Molly/MDMA would have actually bought something entirely different (with possibly much more severe risks). For Ravi, if the drug he bought was tainted Utopium, in his fictional world he could have turned into a zombie. Why would anyone risk that?!?!

Second, Ravi may not become hooked himself, but his “experimenting” leads his friend to try it and suffer that consequence. Here too, what we do impacts people we care about—and not always in ways that we can predict. If Ravi knew that his actions would have led his friend down a dark path…would he still have done it? We hope not.

Have you or someone you know made assumptions about “pure” and tainted drugs? What do you think the risks are when somebody makes assumptions like those? Share with us in the comments below.

Did you miss Part 1 of this post? Check out Dealing With Peer Pressure in CW’s TV Show iZombie.

Photo credit: The CW.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

Comments

Wow inspiring maybe not to some people but to me it is
I thought this article was informative and helpful because it has a clear message and give me detail for what to be aware of and what to expect when it comes to drugs and others. Many people dont relise what mess they are getting themselves into when they say ye to drugs but with these articles and people giving us knowledge on how bad drugs are it makes it easier to say no to them.