The Ice Cold Suburbs

By Adrian Sipala

Suburban Footballers Using Ice

I stand by recent claims that suburban footballers have been using the illicit substance, Ice, as a performance enhancing substance is a worrying sign for of the times. Ice is a very addictive substance. Performance enhancing or not, the issue of drug use in Australian society must be addressed.

The rate of methamphetamine or Ice use in Australia has rapidly increased recently as our recreational drug use culture continues to manifest. Ice is most commonly smoked or injected but it also can be swallowed or snorted. When smoked, the effects of the drug can be felt in as little as five seconds.

Listen to John talk about ordeal with this absolutely ‘terrible’ drug.

The deadly drug and pipe used to smoke it. Source: Herald Sun
The deadly drug and pipe used to smoke it. Source: Herald Sun

Performance Enhancing

The drug Ice can make people feel as if they have super human strength. I think it would be difficult to claim that people are using methamphetamine just to enhance performance on the football field.

The minority of players who are taking ice before a game I believe would not be taking the drug to enhance their performance rather it would be because they have descended into addiction with the substance. From growing up in a football club environment, I do understand the pressures to perform but I stress under no circumstance would any player be taking illicit substances before a match. Moreover, would any past or present player I have been associated with condone this action.

Anti Ice Campaigner Chris Daffey delves further into the issue.

Victoria’s Ice Epidemic

The Victorian government will spend $18 million on drug rehabilitation around the state as part of its overall $45.5 million dollar ice action plan.

“The biggest drug problem we have at the moment is methamphetamine and crystal meth or Ice.” – Stefan Gruenert, CEO Odyssey House

ICEFIGHT, a new foundation, which has really highlighted our town’s fight with the substance since June 16. The foundation has really begun to make a difference to some families. I encourage anyone who is reading this to make a small donation.

Faces of Methamphetamines. Source:
Faces of Methamphetamines.

Victoria’s Ice Action Plan

The state’s action plan can be broken down into five major funding areas. The government plans to spend the following:

  • $4.7 million to aid ice users and their families and introduce a new helpline for addicts to reach out.
  • $18 million to grow rehab centres and services with a major focus on regional and rural areas.
  • $1.8 million to improve needle and syringe programs.
  • $4.5 million to boost Vic Pol Forensics squads to target covert drug labs around the state.
  • $15 million on new drug and booze buses including testing equipment.

Even though this is quite an extensive action plan I do believe education is key to preventing further damage to our society. Harm minimisation is always the best strategy! Prevention is always better than a cure.


I do not believe that Ice as a performance enhancing agent is an issue at any level of sport. I would think that anyone that uses methamphetamines prior to a sporting event would not be using the drug as a stimulant for the game but rather they are using it because they have a drug addiction and simply cannot function without using.

I do think that there is a relaxed attitude around recreational drug use in Victoria, which needs to be addressed. Harm minimisation may be the best approach in tackling this beast.

“Clubs need to be doing what they can to educate their members about the dangers of drug use, they need to be prepared for the instances of drug use just as schools are.” – Australian Drug Foundation’s Greg Munro

High profile footballers who have suffered with addiction such as Ben Cousins highlights the problems that many ice users have daily. Many ice addicts engage in risk taking and dangerous behaviour regularly just to get their fix. Words cannot describe how incapacitating this drug is to addicts.

Four Corner’s examines this issue further in their documentary, Ice Rush.

Where To Seek Help

If you or any other individual that you think requires help with addiction, there are services out there to help you.

Please urge anyone you know that you think needs that helping hand to go and get it. Ice is a demon that most people cannot beat on their own.

Narcotics Anonymous – 03 9525 2833

Direct Line – 1800 888 236

Emergency – 000

The Ice Cold Suburbs

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