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Lucifer's Hero

Illicit Drug Use in AFL

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12 hours ago, Rusty Nails said:

So an official declaration from any club that "player X now has a mental health issue and is stepping aside from the game for an undefined period of time" means he is ineligible for testing while absent?

Yes, and following a second strike they can claim mental health issues and receive treatment instead of copping a ban. 

Edited by Ethan Tremblay

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15 hours ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

The AFL, and professional sport in general, is not like most workplaces. That's why the AFL has an enforceable rule that allows action to be taken against a player or official who may not have even broken a law but "brings the game into disrepute". Not many businesses (or vocations) have the ability to take action for bringing that particular industry (vocation) into "disrepute". Though recent findings of some Royal Commissions perhaps suggest it would be a good idea. 

Of course they have rules around behaviour. But so do most jobs. If I posted so kn etching super offensive on social media I would be disciplined.

And if a player got busted for drugs the afl might further discipline them for bringing the game into disrupted. As they might (or should) for a drink drive charge. 

But a player using recreational drugs in their own time is not bringing the game into disrepute. And the afl might only know that is the case because they choose to test for recreational drugs. Which they don't have to do. 

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15 hours ago, binman said:

They're not. If the police catch them with drugs they get charged. Simple.

It is not the AFL's - or any employer for that matter - job to catch and punish players who break the law. If it is why stop at drug use. What about tax avoidance?  Assault? Copyright?

Exactly.

Whilst it could be argued that it is in the players best interests due to higher risk factors (lots of spare cash, high pressures of high performace sport, constantly being in the public eye etc), I pepetually get sick of the double standards and higher burdens of being model citizens put on AFL players.

Please tell me what other industry has a policy of mandatory testing and in particular 'naming and shaming' of it's employees for elicit drugs?

If the AFL and those in the media keep pushing for the removal of the two stikes policy I think it could have two likely consequences:

1.  The AFLPA tell them to stick the elicit drugs testing policy up their date all together;

2.  Players whom are so inclined will stick to elicit drugs which become undetectable in the shorter time frames, which could be some of the more dangerous drugs;

 

I actually like where Dane Sawn is going with his veiws on this:

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/everyone-in-the-afl-should-be-tested-dane-swans-radical-plan-to-expand-footys-drugs-policy/news-story/236650c1fffdf96f77acc27aa4f01cfd

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On 2/26/2019 at 11:32 AM, BAMF said:

Gotta love this one. In my news feed yesterday were 2 articles in a row from Nick.

1. Drug use is out of control.

2. Drugs use not an issue when I was captain

Nick is  a liar bad now  but not in my time, bull!!

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22 hours ago, Rusty Nails said:

So an official declaration from any club that "player X now has a mental health issue and is stepping aside from the game for an undefined period of time" means he is ineligible for testing while absent?

The allegation is players are claiming mental health issues to avoid testing even if they have not stepped aside from the game.  They keep playing without being tested.

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It is very sad that the mental health issue loophole is being exploited.  To my mind if you are well enough to play you are well enough to be drug tested.

By condoning this loophole club doctors, AFLA, AFL etc are doing a great disservice to players with genuine issues.  It may even get to the stage where such 'clean' players don't take time out for genuine mental health issues for fear of being labelled drug test avoiders.

Can't help think that there are players with genuine and serious issues that are not seeking treatment.  Majak comes to mind.  This loophole does not help their cause.

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1 hour ago, demonstone said:

Legalise all drugs.  Problem solved.  You know it makes sense.

It makes no sense. 

Edited by Ethan Tremblay
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On a slightly different tack, I wonder if there are any players with genuine mental health problems which have been directly caused from drug use. There is plenty of scientific evidence that marijuana can cause depression and other mental health problems in some people.  

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2 hours ago, Lucifer's Hero said:

It is very sad that the mental health issue loophole is being exploited.  To my mind if you are well enough to play you are well enough to be drug tested.

By condoning this loophole club doctors, AFLA, AFL etc are doing a great disservice to players with genuine issues.  It may even get to the stage where such 'clean' players don't take time out for genuine mental health issues for fear of being labelled drug test avoiders.

Can't help think that there are players with genuine and serious issues that are not seeking treatment.  Majak comes to mind.  This loophole does not help their cause.

Good points.

If you do not submit or agree to be drug tested, you should not be allowed to play. 

Otherwise, players and managers will exploit the rules.

Imagine, a sprinter in the final of an Olympic 100m final refusing a drug test on the grounds of mental health. A cyclist in the TDF arguing that he can't be drug tested because he suffers from anxiety etc.etc etc.

Serious mental health issues need to be taken seriously and treated, but it has nothing to do with drug testing.. 

 

 

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Serious q

How does a drug test exacerbate a mental health issue ?

 

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19 minutes ago, beelzebub said:

Serious q

How does a drug test exacerbate a mental health issue ?

 

If I thought I would get caught using illegal drugs I reckon I would have mental problems BB. However if I could fane mental problems and continue my drug use then I would be a sad looking boy cheering inside.

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21 minutes ago, beelzebub said:

Serious q

How does a drug test exacerbate a mental health issue ?

 

Beeb, if you have been doing drugs and they want to test you, you would become quite anxious I imagine.

I would think it is a ruse in most cases. It is a shame that those with real mental health(MH) issues may be tarred with the druggies using MH as an excuse. I would be happy for players evading testing citing MH issues to step out of football for a long time. (12 weeks?) If it really is a MH issue a break would probably do them good. If they have previous non drug test MH issues then a 4 week break.

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The reason I ask is I see there is no effect to anyone with real health issues being tested.

The whole thing is a ruse.

Those who would cry foul would be the FIRST I'd test ;)

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Brian Lake now receiving treatment for mental health issues linked to being recently charged with aggravated burglary, unlawful assault, trespassing, criminal damage and stalking. 

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/brian-lake-receiving-treatment-for-ongoing-mental-health-challenges-20190228-p510x0.html

Edited by america de cali

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I just don't like the vague description "mental health issue". I grew up with someone who suffered from  major mental illness all of their life, and saying you suffer from "depression" as an excuse to get out of certain situations, to me devalues the very real suffering of people struggling with this issue. We all get depressed sometimes, but most of us do not get to know the "black dog" of utter despair. To cite mental health issues too many times risks the public becoming immune to the real problems of people with mental illness living their lives out of the spotlight. The public will become cynical and less sympathetic to ALL sufferers is they suspect players are using the system to cover up something else. Sorry to be so heavy, but this is a sore point with me.

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35 minutes ago, Dame Gaga said:

I just don't like the vague description "mental health issue". I grew up with someone who suffered from  major mental illness all of their life, and saying you suffer from "depression" as an excuse to get out of certain situations, to me devalues the very real suffering of people struggling with this issue. We all get depressed sometimes, but most of us do not get to know the "black dog" of utter despair. To cite mental health issues too many times risks the public becoming immune to the real problems of people with mental illness living their lives out of the spotlight. The public will become cynical and less sympathetic to ALL sufferers is they suspect players are using the system to cover up something else. Sorry to be so heavy, but this is a sore point with me.

Spot on DG.

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1 hour ago, Dame Gaga said:

I just don't like the vague description "mental health issue". I grew up with someone who suffered from  major mental illness all of their life, and saying you suffer from "depression" as an excuse to get out of certain situations, to me devalues the very real suffering of people struggling with this issue. We all get depressed sometimes, but most of us do not get to know the "black dog" of utter despair. To cite mental health issues too many times risks the public becoming immune to the real problems of people with mental illness living their lives out of the spotlight. The public will become cynical and less sympathetic to ALL sufferers is they suspect players are using the system to cover up something else. Sorry to be so heavy, but this is a sore point with me.

It's [censored] isnt it?

It has been the modus operandi within the AFL for a number of years now. Anyone remember when Gary Lyons affair became public knowledge? First thing done is say that he has mental health problems and to please respect his privacy.

A player at our club has mental health issues and has to take some time away from the game. Said player gets traded to another team first opportunity. AFL report comes out explaining how good their policy is because they have identified x amount of players who are using drugs and either removed them from the game or had them move to another environment.

Its just [censored] for the people who do suffer from mental health and have struggled under the stigma of it all for years. Now finally some awareness is going on and the AFL community is using it as a 'dont ask questions' approach.

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4 hours ago, binman said:

I like Jake's article and makes a lot of good points, nails it as you say....but he's incorrect here

The irony of the AFL situation is that, outside of football, the drug debate is heading in the opposite direction - towards medical/health solutions and away from law and order - particularly in the United States, due to the opioid crisis.

The opioid crisis is due to prescription medication...think Prince as a prime example.

There is no loosening up law & order as far as illicit drug use is concerned in the States, particularly with the current regime. There is too much money to be made by benefactors in the incarceration industry for that to happen.

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14 hours ago, don't make me angry said:

Nick is  a liar bad now  but not in my time, bull!!

I'd suggest Riewoldt is the bloke who spoke to Thomas (as they were close) about the drug culture at the Aints and when Thomas come under fire for his comments felt the need to back up his comments .... Sort of.

Edited by Fork 'em

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On 2/25/2019 at 3:01 PM, DeeSpencer said:

The current policy has stopped a repeat Ben Cousins. That was its aim and it has been successful. 

 

 

On 2/25/2019 at 6:55 PM, rjay said:

Don't be so sure about that 'Dee'...it's still early days & there have been more than Ben who have destroyed/lost their lives.

As I said the other day, don't be so sure.

There seems to be a bit more unravelling going on now...

I'm not sure any policy the AFL sets up will stop some players falling off the rails.

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37 minutes ago, BAMF said:

It's [censored] isnt it?

It has been the modus operandi within the AFL for a number of years now. Anyone remember when Gary Lyons affair became public knowledge? First thing done is say that he has mental health problems and to please respect his privacy.

A player at our club has mental health issues and has to take some time away from the game. Said player gets traded to another team first opportunity. AFL report comes out explaining how good their policy is because they have identified x amount of players who are using drugs and either removed them from the game or had them move to another environment.

Its just [censored] for the people who do suffer from mental health and have struggled under the stigma of it all for years. Now finally some awareness is going on and the AFL community is using it as a 'dont ask questions' approach.

Yes, I agree with you. I didn't want to bring up specific examples, but the Gary Lyon one was in my mind. But this excuse is not limited to the AFL. How many times have you heard, "Why did you beat up/ assault/ road rage/ steal etc." "Because I have mental health issues/ I was depressed/ I had a bad childhood." What an insult to all the good people who have suffered all these things and never harmed anybody. It seems this is the way society is heading now. No one takes responsibility for their actions. It is always someone else's fault, or something made them do it. My father spent 4 years as a POW in Berlin in WW2. He didn't do bad things and then blame it on his horror experience. Claiming mental illness seems to be like a fad now. It makes me burn.

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On 2/25/2019 at 11:01 AM, DeeSpencer said:

Are multiple players taking drugs in the offseason and long weekends - absolutely. 
Are some players taking drugs more regularly than that - maybe every weekend in the preseason and the night after the game in season  - sure.

But you're struggling to play elite AFL footy if you're launching in to big weekends every week and I reckon we've seen that with some of our players if you know where to look. I reckon you can count in one hand the number of truly elite players who could keep that lifestyle going.

The majority of AFL players get in long term relationships early, settle down and live a pretty boring life. 

They are good citizens who do community work, are super professional about their trade and the last few offseasons has shown are really low level of crime and disorderly behaviour. Certainly compared with their NRL colleagues in Northern states.

What good comes from punishing AFL players with really harsh illicit drug policies? Do we all feel a little better about ourselves because our heroes are all clean skins? Do we feel morally superior?

The current policy has stopped a repeat Ben Cousins. That was its aim and it has been successful. 

Club culture can take care of the rest. How hard is it for a coach to get with his leadership group and set standards about behaviour and work out which players are going too hard and sort it out? Trade, delist, play in the 2nds. You'll sort it out in no time.

Sorry mate. Can’t agree

drug taking by young people is very high, including AFL Players

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36 minutes ago, rjay said:

I like Jake's article and makes a lot of good points, nails it as you say....but he's incorrect here

The irony of the AFL situation is that, outside of football, the drug debate is heading in the opposite direction - towards medical/health solutions and away from law and order - particularly in the United States, due to the opioid crisis.

The opioid crisis is due to prescription medication...think Prince as a prime example.

There is no loosening up law & order as far as illicit drug use is concerned in the States, particularly with the current regime. There is too much money to be made by benefactors in the incarceration industry for that to happen.

No I think you've misunderstood him on that point. The opioid crisis is literally a crisis in the states. Poor small towns and communities are being devastated. The key reason it has got to that point is that they are legal (though not in the quantity many people have and not go deal).

The fact they are legal has created a huge discussion and funny contradiction - even amongst the hard right. It can't be immoral if it is legal right? But oxy and all its derivatives are no different to heroin of course. So is heroin immoral? 

And because they cant tackle legal opioid use though a war on drugs approach how do they do it? The only logical approach is a harm min and health insurance approach.  Which is how they are now approaching it, by in l as large. Even trump sees this.

So if that is the approach to legal opites it is not such a jump to illegal ones. Though they are a ways off of course. The war still rages as you suggest.

Thst said marijuana is legal in 20 or states and freely available in many. Very different to here.

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