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Now is the time for the NRL to discuss the use of prescription drugs

Now is the time for the NRL to discuss the use of prescription drugs


With Aaron Gray and Dylan Walker moving out of intensive care, now is the time for the rugby league community to discuss the use of prescription drugs.

The South Sydney stars were both admitted into intensive care after overdosing on prescription painkillers, oxycodone, and tramadol early Tuesday morning.

As the story unfolded ex-player, Mark Geyer admitted his past addiction to prescription and over the counter painkillers while Benji Marshall told NRL 360 that he has seen players abusing these medications throughout his career.

With both Gray and Walker’s health improving, the NRL and broader community need to discuss this issue.

As painkillers can effectively numb the pain, people who have recently undergone operation are at risk of overdosing. With the amount of injuries within rugby league, perhaps it isn’t surprising to see medication like this abused. Both Gray and Walker had recently finished surgery while Mark Geyer became addicted after a couple of serious knee injuries.

While there doesn’t appear to be an obvious solution to the problem; NSW coach Laurie Daley told reporters at News Corp that players should let someone know if a teammate is abusing drugs in order to look after them. If players heed his advice, the lives of players would be less at risk.

Jon Kroiter is studying a Bachelor of Sports Media at the University of Canberra. You can follow him on twitter at @JonKroiter.

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