Drug death will happen one day, says Matt King

Former Super League star and current South Sydney assistant coach believes that it is inevitable a top-flight player will die due to prescription drug abuse unless support is provided.

The issue of prescription drugs has been thrown into the spotlight in the NRL recently after a number of New Zealand Warriors players were stood down from both club and representative duty after news broke in the New Zealand Herald that five of the six banned admitted to mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks on a night out.

This comes after Souths players Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were placed into induced comas after overdosing on a variety of painkillers last year.

And King, speaking to Fox Sports, says it is only a matter of time until a fatality occurs unless the NRL provide real support.

“It’ll happen one day,” King said.

“The boys get to a state where they don’t know how many they’re taking or whatever it might be and then you start to mix prescription drugs.

“We were so close at South Sydney last year to facing that exact dilemma and I just thank the big man upstairs that Aaron and Dylan are still with us.”

King also described the use of prescription drugs in the sport as “scary”.

“Prescription drugs for me are a massive concern. We almost lost two players because of prescription drugs. It’s really scary from where I sit.

“For three senior players at the Warriors to do that, and have younger players looking up to them, I’m really disappointed in those guys.”