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NRL and clubs have dropped the ball for the last time says Drug-Safe expert.

Media release from Drug-Safe Communities

An inability to effectively reduce drug use in rugby league could see sponsorships, sponsors, club supporters and players walk away from the code, warns the Founder and Managing Director of Drug-Safe Communities, Michael White.

“Over the past few days we’ve witnessed once again drug use in the NRL dominating the headlines. A pathetic and pallid lack of action by the NRL and the clubs could trigger a devastating reaction to their financial and supporter base from which they will struggle to recover.”

“Parents want their children to play in a drug-safe sporting environment. The last thing they want to see is their sons and daughters exposed to illicit drugs and ending up on the front page of the news. If the NRL and clubs are not seen to be proactive about this scourge and build role models we can all be proud to follow, there is a good chance parents will look for other sports which are using a drug-safe program and life choice”, added Mr White.

“At the same time, sponsors cannot afford to have their reputations damaged by being associated with athletes and clubs connected to drug use. There are plenty of alternative ways to invest a marketing budget that projects a positive and healthy lifestyle and it doesn’t need to be sport, it won’t take much for them to walk.”

Reputation is everything in business, particularly in today’s environment but this seems to elude the management within the NRL and their clubs. However, it hasn’t been ignored by their sponsorship. The sponsors understand how important a reputation is, and to have it trashed by fools will not be tolerated at either management or board level.”

Drug-Safe Communities is the pioneer of work place testing of alcohol and other drugs in Australia, and over the past 16 years it has delivered services which have reduced drug use across a variety of industries.

“We contacted the NRL and offered to share our expertise with them but no-one has responded.”

“Rugby league is at a crossroads. The administration can bury their heads in the sand and hope that drug use will go away, or they can introduce the methods we use in the business world and consistently reduce and manage drug use till it’s no longer an issue.”

Mr White said the time is right for sponsors to speak up and force positive change in the sport and in the community.

“I’m calling on sponsors to approach their clubs and demand that they become more pro-active about reducing drug use. The clubs’ current deterrents aren’t working. I’ve spent 16 years developing unique drug-safe services and helping large companies and organisations become drug-safe. There’s no reason why a football club cannot become a member of their drug-safe community and lead by example before they really have a crisis.”


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  1. RonaldR

    They need to be more careful who they sell top range of Club memberships to as the Drug dealers join to get access to players and a larger percentage of the players pay to be repaid into their Retirement savings.

  2. bobrafto

    It is a full moon tonite and on past experience I learnt that I should not comment on any posts, but my will power is weak and so it goes …..

    Do I detect some one trying to sell a program?

    Couldn’t sell it to the clubs and another route was taken via this post.

    Sure you have some valid arguments but we don’t have an NRL argument to say why they have dismissed your program.

    As long as there are drugs available they will be consumed from across every demographic. I wasn’t upset about the drug busts, I saw young men wanting to unwind with a few lines of coke. Big deal it isn’t anymore, just like wars, after so much of it one has become numb.

    The youth of today as in the past just have to accept that there are folks out there wanting to have a good time with the drugs of their choice. I know ‘of’ a few pot smoking grannies and I was told about another one who had been busted 4 times for selling pot and on her last visit to court she told the judge she wasn’t going to stop as she had grandkids or something like that. I’m not sure whether the judge took pity on her or just had enough of her and fined her $400.00

    Now I must relate this drug story.

    In 2012, I got a phone call from an ex girlfriend who I hadn’t seen for over 30 years, she had just arrived in Brisbane from Darwin and wanted to see me and she was going to see other folk that she knew. I sensed it was a farewell tour, and when we met my instincts were confirmed not that I raised the subject.

    In those 30 years, gossip traveled to my ears that the ex had become an alcoholic, she succumbed 2 weeks after we met. Her liver gave way.

    After we made arrangements to meet, I googled her name and laughed to see her on the front page of the Northern Territory rag with the headline Gunga Granny and not only that, when one is convicted up there the cops go around to the house they’re staying and super glue an A0 poster to their front door with the heading Drug Premises. Apparently she was the topic of discussion on talkback radio for weeks.

    Drug taking grannies are more common than one might think. Google and see.

    The war on drugs is futile, its like keeping up appearances and it’s society that has their heads in the sand.

  3. Stephen Brailey

    Sorry Ron are you serious? Drugs really don’t work that way. People take drugs because the want to because they make you feel great! It’s only with time you realise the circular nature of the experience and realise you’re doing it to make up for something you lack. But chances are these are just cashed up young men looking for a great night out. I feel sorry for them in a way all the rock star attention but they are expected to act like bloody nuns!

  4. Matters Not

    bobrafto’s comment caused me to ‘dig’. Perhaps this article ought to carry the disclaimer – This is a paid commercial announcement on behalf of Michael White and his paid employee Craig Hingston . Not a good look.

    The use of drugs in sport has a number of dimensions. First, there’s there’s the recreational. What an athlete does after the game (usually) to ‘come down’ or ‘go up’. Second, there’s the drugs that enhance performance long before the game is played. Muscle builders and all that – often involving steroids or related ‘helpers’. Then there’s the use on ‘game’ day – stimulant taken to boost performance for just a limited time. Then there’s … take your pick – because there’s a smorgasbord on offer.

    Seems to me that we only consider the tip of the iceberg.

    Lots of dimensions to consider including: Why shouldn’t I be allowed to take drug X to compensate for my genetic ‘lack’? After all it’s often considered acceptable and even desirable when it comes to so many other areas?

  5. Michael Taylor

    We weren’t paid a cent, MN.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Actually, we don’t publish paid articles. I thought you knew us better than that.

  7. Matters Not

    MT, I can believe that. Put it down to my clumsy choice of words or poor construction of same.

    The point I was trying to make was that the author didn’t ‘come clean’. Didn’t disclose his potential or real conflict of interest! (Again I am assuming that it was ‘offered’, not requested nor sourced from another site.)

    A great site that doesn’t run ads?

  8. Michael Taylor

    It was actually a media release from Drug-Safe that was forwarded to Craig for distribution, with us being one of the recipients. I erred in introducing the post as being written by Craig.

    I shall correct my error.

  9. wam

    jacqui lambe has it right:
    It is about time politicians led by example and both on the Senate side and the House of Reps, there should be random drug testing as you come through the doors,” she said
    All afl/nrl presidents should announce a similar approach to internal drug testing. Surely a club doctor could discover any drugs in a player’s system?

  10. silkworm

    I oppose the general thrust of this article. One of the budget proposals is the drug-testing of the unemployed, which I regard as a particularly draconian and discriminatory measure. This article merely feeds into this persecution of the unemployed.

  11. troy

    wam yes if anyone in parliament needs to be listened to on the subject of drugs its jacqui lambe. re testing at work or sports for drugs thats ok but by the time drugs show up in someone body all that proves is that someone has drugs in their body. if society want to get on top of drug misuse it needs to identify all things that fed into making drug look attractive or why it is assumed to have curative purpose. if all that could be put on a single page and put to all workplaces and schools then that might help. blaming result without knowing cause looks childish, hello msm.

  12. bobrafto

    When the word drug appears it never is associated with alcohol. One only has to look back at the ancient romans debauchery of orgies fuelled by booze and one can only come to the conclusion that getting shit faced is a culture inherent in humans.

    The only distinction between alcohol and other recreational drugs is that alcohol is legal.

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