Leinster GAA chairman Pat Teehan has stressed that action must be taken by everyone if the use of recreational drugs in the GAA is to come to an end.
Speaking during his address at Monday’s virtual Leinster Convention, Offaly native Teehan opined that GAA clubs in particular must do their part to support players who are using drugs.
“One area of concern that has been raised with me in recent months has been the use of drugs among young people in our society,” Teehan said.
“Unfortunately, in recent years the use of so-called recreational drugs, and in particular cocaine, has become prevalent across all areas of society, from the smallest rural village to the largest urban area.
“While it would be over-dramatic to say it is an epidemic, it is nonetheless a very concerning situation and GAA players and members are certainly not immune from this culture.
“As the largest voluntary sporting organisation in the country and embedded in every community, all GAA units should play our part in creating awareness among our young people to the dangers of becoming involved in this habit.”
Teehan elaborated on how the GAA can help tackle the issue in the short-term as well as for the foreseeable future.
He added: “We can become part of the solution to this problem by engaging with the professionals in Government agencies and other community organisations to support and highlight the dangers of drug use, not just from a physical health viewpoint, but also the long term mental affects and the devastating affect drug use can have on an individual’s family.
“We also need to emphasise the fact that money spent on drugs only goes to line the pockets of criminals who have no regard for the lives or welfare of anyone, other than themselves.
“I would urge all GAA clubs to adopt the GAA Club Substance Use Policy which can be downloaded from GAA.ie website. A social media campaign accompanied by a poster in every dressing room in the country would certainly be a start in raising awareness and helping to combat the future spread of the use of drugs among our members.”
Tune into KCLR’s Scoreline from 4pm on Saturday when we’ll chat to Pat Teehan about the use of drugs in the GAA and much more.