Having been a general practitioner for the past 20 years and before that working in both psychiatry and emergency medicine, I am probably more familiar than most with the consequences of alcohol and other drugs.
It is a real and pervasive problem that requires urgent, concerted and long-term involvement of government, health and justice services and the broader community.
We must take an evidence-based approach, which includes minimising the harm that is occurring, rehabilitating and supporting those affected, and educating our younger generation about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.
Some of our sporting codes might like to look overseas and institute the same vigilance and intolerance of drug use that has been employed with good effect.
Getting drugs out of sport is critical to reducing societal acceptance of this destructive and harmful behaviour.