Sometimes, I think that the stars are actually a huge connect-the-dot puzzle, and if we could only find the right pattern in which to connect them, then maybe we could figure out what they’re trying to tell us. And I think that there is a different pattern for every living person, every person that has ever lived, and every person that will ever live. So in a way, we’re all written into the night sky. And we gaze up at the sky, lying beneath our fears and dreams, and futures, and if we could find the right pattern, we might be able to know where we’re supposed to be. But the night sky is bigger than I can even begin to grasp, so I lay down on the cold, hard concrete, and I trace my finger along the brightest stars I can find, and I smile. The stars can keep the burden of knowing where it is that I will end up, because I am happy with where I am right now. When they twinkle, I think they’re winking at me, like they know something I don’t know, but I don’t mind. Sometimes, I like being in the dark, and right now, I don’t mind at all.

Sarah, a 26-year-old from Maryland who earned her Master’s degree in public health with a focus on substance abuse, says she uses Molly regularly. Thirty minutes after taking it for her first time…Sarah was happier than she’d ever been. “Don’t you just wish it could stay like this forever?” she told her friends, something they still laugh about today. Now, working as a public health professional, she says it’s not uncommon to hear her colleagues talk about doing the same thing.

The hysteria surrounding [Molly-related] deaths, Sarah believes, is misplaced. “No one deserves to die just because they want to experiment or have some fun and were unlucky to get like a bad batch of pills,” she says. “The U.S. drug policy and public opinion tends to get stuck on this ‘drugs are bad’ kind of moral crusade, when there are practical things we could be doing to make them less harmful for people. I feel like that’s the conversation we should really be having.” Sarah, like many other Molly users, doesn’t think that abandoning recreational drugs completely is the answer. ‘People do drugs because they are fun, and they’re probably not going to stop…so we need to focus on how to make it less dangerous.’