West Coast Eagles and Richmond AFL great Ben Cousins reveals the key to beating drug addiction


Cousins appears happy and healthy at The Birdcage at the Melbourne Cup at Flemington after a long history of substance abuse 

Debuted at 17 and kicked two goals in his first game for the Eagles, going on to win the AFL’s Rising Star award.

Played 270 AFL games, 238 for West Coast and 32 for Richmond

Two appearances for Australia in International Rules in 1999

AFL

AFL premiership player: 2006

Brownlow Medal: 2005

Leigh Matthews Trophy: 2005

6x All-Australian team: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006

AFL Rising Star: 1996

Goal of the Year: 1999

International Rules Series: 1999

West Coast

West Coast Captain: 2001 (co-captain), 2002–05

4x West Coast Club Champion: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005

Geoff Christian Medal: 2001

West Coast Life Member: 2003

West Coast Team 20: 2006

Western Australian Sports Star of the Year: 2005

Controversies 

May 2005: Interviewed by police after a shootout at a Perth nightclub allegedly involving bikie gangs along with teammate Michael Gardiner. No charges are laid

February 2006: Cousins abandons his car and flees an RBT, swimming across the Swan River in an attempt to evade police

December 2006: Arrested after being found passed out in front of Melbourne’s Crown Casino

April 2007: Spends a month in rehab in the United States

October 2007: Former West Coast star Chris Mainwaring dies of a cocaine overdose. Cousins was with him hours prior

October 2007: Arrested for alleged drug possession, although charges are eventually dropped

November 2007: Banned from the AFL for 12 months for bringing the game into disrepute. Checks back into rehab

October 2008: Gets around condition of playing requirement to pass a hair follicle drug test by shaving his head and waxing his body

January 2012: Suffers a drug-induced psychosis and is committed to a suburban mental health unit

March 2012: Caught by police at an airport trying to smuggle 4.65 grams of methamphetamine in his anus

April 2012: Arrested and found guilty of possession of cannabis and a meth pipe

March 2015: Leads police on a three-hour slow police chase through Perth

June 2016: Found directing traffic on a highway in a dazed state. Misses the Eagles’ 10 year anniversary for its 2006 Premiership

October 2016: Arrested for breaching a violence restraining order and drug possession

November 2016: Involved in a car crash and charged with possessing methamphetamine and breaching bail

December 2016: Admits in court that is he is now homeless

March 2017: Pleads guilty to 11 charges and is sentenced to 12 months behind bars

August 2018: Jailed again after being arrested at his former partner’s home with methamphetamine on him

July 2019: Jailed once again for failing a court-ordered drug test

If you or someone you know needs support with drug addiction, the 24/7 Meth Helpline offers confidential, free and professional assistance. Call 1800 874 878.

 

 

 

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