UofL cheerleaders to be tested after heroin overdose

Published: Aug. 29, 2014 at 4:05 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2014 at 4:12 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Following the coroner's findings that a deadly combination of drugs led to a University of Louisville cheerleader's death, the school announced that spirit team members will be subjected to the same random drug testing as athletes.

Dani Cogswell, 22, was found dead July 28 in an apartment at the Cardinal Towne apartment complex.

Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones said Cogswell died from an overdose of heroin, amphetamines and Xanax.

Resources like The Healing Place provide counseling and treatment programs for heroin addicts. While Cogswell wasn't a client or associated with the treatment facility, WAVE 3 News reached out to The Healing Place about the pressure and substance abuse student athletes face.

"There is a heroin epidemic here. It's real. And there are so many potential star athletes who've let themselves go and end up with nothing," Austin Baker said.

Baker works in The Healing Place's detox unit, but he was once a client seeking sobriety.

"I was on my way to scholarships and everything when I was playing golf in high school. But I suffered an injury, got hooked on pain pills and it was a downward spiral from there," Baker said.

UofL personnel will soon have a meeting with the spirit teams to notify members that they have access to all services and benefits available to student-athletes, including sports medicine, which oversees the drug testing program.

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