Sport­ing clubs well placed to cut drug use

Comment News (Armadale) - - Wafl -

GRASS­ROOTS sport­ing clubs have one of the most im­por­tant roles to play in tack­ling drug use, ac­cord­ing to the Al­co­hol and Drug Foun­da­tion (ADF).

With more than 40 per cent of Aus­tralians over the age of 14 ad­mit­ting they have tried an il­licit drug, and with a quar­ter of Aus­tralians ei­ther par­tic­i­pat­ing in or watch­ing com­mu­nity sport, ADF act­ing WA state man­ager Sa­man­tha Menezes said these clubs had be­come the hub of many com­mu­ni­ties and as such, were per­fectly placed to pre­vent or re­duce drug-re­lated harm.

“Sport­ing clubs are a snap­shot of so­ci­ety and il­le­gal drug use can af­fect all ar­eas of so­ci­ety, mean­ing no club is im­mune,” she said.

“Drug use can im­pact both the per­son us­ing drugs and other team mem­bers.

“There is no safe level of drug use and use of any drug al­ways car­ries some risk.

“Clubs not con­sid­er­ing their duty of care, and not de­vel­op­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures around il­le­gal drugs, are not in a great po­si­tion should a drug-re­lated in­ci­dent oc­cur. We want clubs to be proac­tive rather than re­ac­tive.”

To help Perth clubs be­come more proac­tive, the ADF has be­gun host­ing Tack­ling Il­le­gal Drugs (TID) fo­rums, where they dis­cuss drug-re­lated is­sues.

These in­clude what can be done if drugs are found, how to re­spond if some­one is un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs and what to do if some­one is found deal­ing drugs at their club.

Six­teen Perth sport­ing clubs, in­clud­ing the Kwinana Tigers Hockey Club, were at the ADF’s re­cent TID fo­rum.

Kwinana Tigers pres­i­dent Mick Matthews said they de­cided to join the fo­rum be­cause they wanted to pro­vide a safe place for all of their mem­bers.

“The club found the fo­rum very in­for­ma­tive and pro­vided great ad­vice on man­age­ment of drugs and al­co­hol,” he said. “The club be­lieves that re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment of drugs and al­co­hol en­ables our mem­bers to per­form bet­ter both on field and off field.

“We be­lieve drugs are a mas­sive detri­ment to peo­ple’s lives both on and off field, and the club ac­cepts it has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to help the com­mu­nity with the is­sue of drugs.”

Visit www.good­sports.com.au/ pro­grams/tack­ling-il­le­gal-drugspro­gram.

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