Heartland Schools Discuss Ephedrine

Heartland Schools Discuss Ephedrine
By: Ryan Tate

The death of Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Steve Bechler is prompting Heartland High Schools to think harder about their policy on Ephedra.

"We worry about the drug interacting with things they are taking, and the heat and the environment issues," Certified Athletic Trainer Mark Donelson said.

The worry is over Ephedrine, the dietary supplement attributed, in part to Bechler's death. The supplement can be purchased over-the-counter at many stores, and is available to anyone, at any age.

Ephedrine is used to increase endurance and lose weight, but doctors still don't know what causes its side effects, which include heart attacks, strokes, seizures and heatstroke. According to the Broward County Medical Examiner, heatstroke is also attributed to Bechler's death.

"I talked to people that have [taken Ephedrine] and they see results from it but they don't know what else its doing to them," Notre Dame Senior Cody Bell said. "If I'm going to take something and put it into my body, I want in-depth studies about it. Because people don't know what its going to do."

Leaders of the Food and Drug Administration admit they have been investigating Ephedrine for some time. They report the urgency of their investigation will increase with the death of Bechler.