Illicit Drugs

The AFL does not condone the use of illicit substances, however understands the complexities that exist with people who may have substance abuse issues.

The AFL have adopted a medical model in their response to illicit drug use within the AFL Competition, which aims to identify AFL players who have substance abuse issues and place the necessary support around them to protect their health and wellbeing.

The AFL has been funded by the Department of Health to develop and deliver messages around the dangers of illicit drug use over the last 4 years.

This program has been delivered nationwide and has reached a significant number of clubs in this time. These programs represent the ongoing commitment of the AFL to address social issues within Australian society.

The Issue

Illicit drugs have very serious long and short term health implications which affect your lifestyle, work and education and can lead to crime, addiction and death.

About 2 in 5 people have used an illicit drug at some point in their lifetime. Illicit drug users were more likely to be diagnosed or treated for a mental illness and report high or very high levels of psychological distress compared with those who had not used an illicit drug.

Amphetamines (e.g. Speed and Meth), Cocaine, Ecstasy

Speed up the central nervous system and can make the user feel more awake, alert or confident. Stimulants increase heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Stimulants can "over-stimulate" the user, causing anxiety, panic, seizures, headaches, stomach cramps, aggression and paranoia.

Cannabis, GHB, Heroin, Alcohol

Don't necessarily make a person feel depressed. They slow down the central nervous system and the messages between the brain and the body. They may cause unconsciousness, vomiting and, in some cases, death.

Ketamine, LSD (Acid), Magic Mushrooms

Hallucinogens distort the users perception of reality. Effects include dilation of pupils, loss of appetite, increased activity, excessive talking or laughing, jaw clenching, sweating, panic, paranoia and nausea.


Impact Series: Illicit Drugs - Video and Educational Resource

Illicit Drugs in Sport (IDIS) Online Education Program - Australian Government
In recent years, the AFL has been involved in the Australian Government’s Illicit Drugs in Sport (IDIS) initiative. Through this involvement it has delivered education and awareness raising programs on the issue of illicit drugs throughout the Australian Football Community.

As part of the IDIS initiative, the Australian Government has developed an online education program, which is free to access and provides practical tools and strategies to assist athletes, coaches and sports administrators in making appropriate choices when faced with illicit drug issues in their sport.

The IDIS program offers a suite of five e-courses:

  • Athlete: demonstrates the impact of decision making
  • Coach: provides skills and knowledge to assist athletes in setting behavioural standards
  • Officer: provides resources to implement a program within a sport
  • Presenter: provides resources to deliver a workshop within an organisation
  • Athlete Role Model: provides resources to deliver a workshop

Upon completion of the course, the individual has the opportunity to print out a certificate of completion.

To access the e-learning modules, click here:

Online Course

The online AFL Illicit Drugs and Alcohol education module is designed to provide you with information on making informed decisions about drugs and alcohol, how to respond if you were offered drugs, and how to act responsibly in social situations.

The course includes videos of current and former AFL players providing a peer presence and discussing their thoughts and opinions on saying no to drugs.

Instructions to access course:

  1. Select this link to access the online Illicit Drugs and Alcohol education module
  2. Select "Add to Cart" button on right-hand side of screen
  3. Confirm purchase of "AFL Illicit Drugs and Alcohol" online education module by checking the box and selecting "Proceed To Checkout"
  4. Enter your details if you are a registered user or create an account

Support Services

National Drugs Campaign
Information about the campaign and support services in each State/Territory
Phone 1800 250 015 (freecall)

Australian Drug Foundation
Information on drugs; including latest research, fact sheets and government policy

Documents for Download

IDIS Fact Sheets