Local clubs keep an eye out for Molly

The increases in overdoses of the drug "molly" has some local colleges and nightclubs on alert.

The variant of ecstasy is blamed for a half-dozen recent overdoses and two deaths, including that of a young woman from North Providence who was at a rave in New York City.

There were eight arrests in the Boston area, including two Rhode Islanders.{} And a nightclub was shut down for the season.

In Providence, Anthony Santurri, one of the owners of the Colosseum nightclub tells NBC10, "It isn't new to anyone, I believe, who's in the nightlife industry.{} It probably is new to a lot of parents and the community and to the general public.{} But I think it's important they know about it."

Santurri says he and his staff have seen the ill effects of molly, to the point where people are near collapsing.{} He says some people pop pills before coming in.{} "Unfortunately the perception of it, in my opinion, is a lot of people, the people who use it, think it's not a very harmful drug, it creates a euphoria, it just makes me happy.{} Unfortunately that's not the truth."

He says patrons at his club are patted down on the way in and any pills are taken away.{} "We have to be preventing distribution in our clubs.{} There are large groups of people.{} We know what it is.{} It's an inherent issue.{} People come to clubs.{} People come to clubs to sell drugs to people in clubs.{} This is long before I owned the Colosseum."

At least two area universities, UMass Dartmouth and Roger Williams, have sent alerts to students warning them of the dangers of molly.