A local AFL player and youth worker hopes the controversial documentary Such Is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins will inspire children not to get involved with illicit and illegal substances.
Mick Haley, who mixes his passion for AFL with part-time work with the Dubbo Youth Foundation, said children are impressionable when it comes to drawing a line about what is right and wrong.
In the controversial documentary, which aired on Channel 7 on Wednesday and concluded last night, the four-time West Coast Eagles best and fairest and 2005 Brownlow Medallist was seen snorting cocaine off a table and smoking a crack pipe.
He detailed how he would go on five-day “benders” and how his drug use began at the age of 17.
On Wednesday alone, close to two million people tuned in across Australia.
In one of the most disturbing images shown in the documentary Cousins was seen, in a
room by himself, twitching and appearing anxious as the camera rolled.
“I would train and f***ing train and obsess and play good footy and the thing that would get
me through those tough moments, those tough days, was I knew at the end I was going to absolutely annihilate and launch into as much drugs as I
could,” Cousins said in the documentary.
Mr Haley said Cousins’ actions would hopefully show people what path drugs can take them down rather than give the impression they can be involved in illicit activity and still function in general life.
“What worries me the most is he (Cousins) didn’t seem to be fully aware of what he was doing,” Mr Haley said.
“Kids at a young age can be swayed by what seems exciting but to me, it didn’t appear to be very exciting.
“I think what people don’t think of is the ramifications for the future health of Ben Cousins and the other people who do these things, as well as the trust he has lost with a number of family and friends.
“They appeared to me to be very frustrated, they tried a lot to help him but he seemed to ignore them.
“I was speaking to a lady today who watched the whole thing on Wednesday night and she isn’t in to AFL.
“She said the one thing that struck her was his arrogance.”
Mr Haley said that while the subject matter of the documentary was a star AFL footballer, it was important to remember that drugs were a common problem in our society.
“The problem goes far beyond Ben Cousins,” he said.
“He was living the dream as the star footballer in Perth, an extreme athlete who thought he was bulletproof.
“But nobody is bulletproof, regardless of how many drugs they take.”