Former AFL player, Ben Cousins was born in Geelong, Victoria in 1978, is now aged 33. He was by any standard an outstanding football player, playing between 1996 and 2010, with 270 games to his credit.
Cousins played for West Coast 238 games, with 205 goals and then later for Richmond in the Australian Football League, with medals, awards, honors and sponsorships to match. Cousins’ father was, in his day, a star player for Geelong football team.
Cousins is currently hospitalized in a psychiatric ward, apparently suffering from paranoia, and drug induced psychosis as a result of “chasing the dragon” with meth drugs – using for several days in a row. Many drug users see meth drug addiction as the beginning of the end of the road. Meth drug is a stimulant, highly toxic to the body, and extremely addicting.
Photos of Cousins have appeared in the press, showing unmistakable signs of the physical deterioration that rapidly sets in with regular meth drug abuse.
This current situation is all the more disappointing because it was only late last year that Cousins became a father for the first time, claiming that this fresh, innocent young child meant all the world to him. Love for his partner, love for his child were not powerful enough to prevent Ben Cousins’ continued poly drug use and addiction.
Whatever drove Ben to use drugs in the beginning has led to public shame and humiliation. Cousins has his fans, he also has outspoken detractors. Many feel that as a top AFL player, Cousins’ had an obligation, a responsibility to be a good role model for the younger generation,
Cousins has run off from police, leaving his then girlfriend in his car, been found passed out in the street, had many issues with attempted drug rehab and missed sessions of football training. Cousins’ drug using behavior has caused him to be accused of having criminal connections.
In many ways it is easy to blame the addicted person – for immaturity, lack of backbone, lack of moral values – for appearing not to care about anything else but drug use.
To see the drug user, in a negative way is perhaps to misunderstand the nature and causes of drug addiction – which at the end of the day is a form of compulsive behavior over which an individual lacks control.
The story of Ben Cousins is of a life that went out of control – due to abuse of drugs, and a failure of many attempts that he made to complete drug detox and rehabilitation.
Footy identity and former Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says now that he was warned three years ago that Cousins would eventually relapse when considering taking him into the Collingwood team in the 2008 pre-season – a year after Cousins was sacked by the West Coast team for problems associated with his drug taking.
It was said of Cousins that all it would need would be some form of setback to trigger off his drug dependency again. Richmond club took him in on the basis that Cousins would make a genuine attempt to overcome his drug addiction.
The Malthouse article is revealing in that it hints about another side of the football industry, one that causes immense pressure to top players, in terms of their commitment to the game, and to sponsorship deals. There is big money involved in AFL – it can both make and break the players.
Ultimately it is for the managers to offer mentoring and protection to players who mostly come into the game as talented kids – unprepared for the politics and pressures of what has undeniably become big business. Many blame the aggression and escapist behavior that has crept into football today on high financial stakes, and constant pressure to perform.
Cousins has been reported as recently saying that if it hadn’t been for the football – he would have gone into drug rehab fifteen years ago. Ultimately it is for the individual to sort their priorities out – no easy thing for anyone to do who is caught up in the lifestyle, the public profile of a high pressure, yet highly rewarding career. So much easier to take the pressure – and use drugs to compensate.
For Cousins it has been a very public battle against addiction since 2007 when he was sacked by West Coast for issues relating to drug use. Five years later and it would seem that drugs have got the upper hand despite every best intention.
Mainstream drug rehabilitation does not appear to have worked for Ben Cousins, nor for many other addicts. The assumption behind traditional rehab is that addiction can never be overcome, that recovery is never complete.
As a result many people never try alternative methods for addiction recovery that offer success, believing it to be impossible, particularly for drugs such as meth.
Meanwhile levels of drug dependency and addiction are increasing worldwide, and those addicted are dying.
There comes a time when those who say that something is impossible, need to stand aside, and get out of the way of those who are out there doing it.
It is not only sports stars and famous people who suffer from drug use and pressure, however reading about their stories can help to reassure us that we are not alone when trying to deal with our problems and getting caught up in drug use.
Taking time out for genuine alcohol and drug detox and rehabilitation at a comprehensive addiction recovery center can get you off drugs completely.
Don’t dream about drug addiction recovery – use a comprehensive program now and recover completely from your drug use and addiction.