unregulated. The quality and content is therefore not verified by the
Food and Drug Administration.
The levels of potency indicated on the label may be less or may be
more than what is claimed. Hence the possibility for adverse,
life-threatening effects increase. Truly, it is a gamble each time
the user takes the drug.
Even though the dosage may be precisely followed by the consumer,
they may or may not be getting what they bargained for. Worse, they
could be getting much more than they bargained for. This would
certainly not be a matter of abuse if there are adverse effects.
Harper, you make red herring comparisons to other legal
substances, such as alcohol and food, that are abused. Well, here's a
comparison that holds a little more credibility: Methamphetamines, as
in "crystal," "meth," or "crank," etc. Those drugs, like ephedra,
give the user a speed effect, with more energy and stamina.
The manufacturing of those drugs is parallel to ephedra: They are
unregulated by the FDA. The level of potency is truly unknown. It's a
gamble each time the user takes the drug. The possibility for
adverse, life-threatening effects are very real. And like the
scenario described in the beginning of your article, it is bought in
"dimly lit alleys" at over-inflated prices. Lastly, when the user's
"stash" runs out (like your ephedra will, Harper), the user goes out
to find more.
Unfortunately, ephedra won't be going away anytime soon. Harper,
you need not worry about you or Aimee's "habits" coming to an end --
not unless you want them to, of course. The "black market" will now
take over. My prediction is there will be little or no difference of
the quality or quantity of product available. The price will just be
higher, and those that are selling it will likely offer a plethora of
other "pick-me-ups" to solve those fatigued, end-of-the-day workouts
-- and more.
Users of ephedra or any other "performance enhancing" substances
are certainly altering their state of consciousness and/or physiology
in order to get an extra "edge" or "boost" for themselves or over