A former NRL playing has revealed he took up to 50 valium tablets a day at the height of his two-year prescription drug addiction.
The player told The Daily Telegraph his addiction was fuelled by club doctors who provided him with scripts for the anti-anxiety drug.
“I started out taking Valium once or twice a day, just to help the pain,” the player told Telegraph.
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“But your body would get used to it, and in the end when I was in a bad way, I was taking up to 20 or 30 pills at once.
“I’d then take Xanax to help me go to sleep.
“I’d wake up, take some Valium, go to training, spend three or four hours at training, then come home and do it all over again.”
He said he believed up to 50 per cent of players in the NRL had abused prescription drugs.
The player was prepared to speak on the record, but was later advised by his employer any public statement could harm his profile.
The issue of prescription drugs in the NRL has come under the spotlight this week, following the hospitalisation of two South Sydney players.
Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were rushed to hospital in a critical condition after overdosing on prescription painkillers.
The pair have since been moved out of intensive care and into a private ward but will continue to undergo a number of tests before being permitted to leave.