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Ben Cousins bravely opens up about difficult recovery from his drug addiction

Ben Cousins bravely opens up about difficult recovery from his drug addiction

The one-time Brownload Medalist’s problems with drug addiction became publicised after he was forced to resign as captain of the Eagles.

Former AFL star Ben Cousins has opened up about the road to recovery from his very public battle with substance abuse.

The one-time Brownlow Medalist’s problems with drug addiction became extremely publicised after he was forced to resign as captain of West Coast Eagles in 2006.

The 44-year-old had fled an RBT before it was revealed he had a problem.

He spent time in rehab following the incident, however, was arrested for drug possession the following year.

He was banned from the AFL for 12 months, returning in 2009 for a two-season stint at Richmond before pulling down the curtains on his retirement.

His life subsequently spiralled out of control, leading to further battles with drugs and legal issues, as well as 12-mont prison sentence in 2017 for stalking former partner Maylea Tinecheff.

However, more recently he has shown huge signs of improvement in both mental and physical well-being.

He returned to football by playing in the Perth Metro Football League, is now a full-time scaffolder, and even impressed in a TV segment about AFL on 7 News Perth.

Speaking in Bunbury, as per The West Australian, he said: “It just gets back to being happy and for a long time, I hadn’t been and I had those fleeting moments where I thought I was kidding myself just to try and get by.

“It’s been a big struggle but today I sit here and it’s not in any way about the things I’ve given up or had to give up or sacrifice, it’s all about things I can give back.”

He also shared his gratitude to Richmond for giving him a chance during his troubling times.

He said: “I played the majority of my football at West Coast and never once did I entertain the idea of leaving West Coast or did I ever see my future being anything other than a one-team player but obviously what happened, happened.

“One of the great things about that whole situation was the opportunity that I got to play for Richmond who were sort of brave enough to take it on and pick me up.

“I was desperate to play, I was no guarantee to get picked up and there was a circus that sort of followed me for the past 12 or 18 months.

“As much as I would have loved for it to be just a football decision, it really wasn’t.

“I’m forever grateful. (Richmond) were a fantastic club to play for.

“I had two pretty tough years on field but it’s been amazing to be at that footy club at that time with a handful of that core group that was able to go on and build something from those days and win those three grand finals and have that dynasty.”

The former Premiership winner has slowly but surely become more prominent in the AFL world following his troubles.

Last year he appeared on the Brownlow Medal red carpet.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy. 7AFL/Twitter.

Topics: Australia, Australia Afl