Players no longer getting drug counseling

It’s been well documented that there will be no drug testing during the NFL lockout.  It’s worth remembering that there will be no drug counseling or treatment either.

The NFL’s drug testing czar Adolph Birch is concerned.

“If guys do not continue to take advantage of the program, I’m concerned about them, their families, the people who depend on them and that the progress that has been made may not continue,” Birch told Alex Marvez of

Players could continue to get treatment, but they would have to pay for it.

“We have advised those players who were either receiving treatment or testing that they could continue to see the clinicians they were seeing,” Birch said.   “Obviously, they’d have to be doing that on their own and it would entirely be their choice. But that option is available to them.”

That sounds great, but the reality is that players won’t take advantage of the treatment if they had to pay for it.  And if the  NFL really cared about the issue, they wouldn’t lock the players out.

If anything, it seems disingenuous at this stage for the owners or players to pretend they truly care about anything else in this work stoppage other than their share of the money.

14 responses to “Players no longer getting drug counseling

  1. It’s not the owners job to give the players drug councelling. It was a fringe benefit of being an NFL employee. Now that the players are no longer employees, they don’t get those benefits.

    When my employer fires me, I suddenly don’t get all the nice fringe benefits I used to have either.

    Just add it to the long list of great things that you get being an NFL player. I’ll take the worst deal in sports history any day!

  2. If the owners really cared….come on….if they really cared these players would not be in the NFL. It is becoming a complete shamble the reports of having to watch over and babysit players while this mess is worked out. Surly with all the players in college the NFL scouts could advise owners to draft a better sortment of young adults with some hint of responability in their bones.

  3. The players won’t pay for the counseling. That means less money to spend on drugs.

  4. If the players cared about themselves they’d pay for the treatment they need. When does it become the player’s responsibility to care for themselves. These are grown men?

    If a player can get $246,000 worth of jewelry on credit, I’m sure a player could get several thousands of dollars worth of treatment on credit.

    I don’t care if you’re on the lower end of the NFL pay scale, if you don’t have money at this point for insurance, treatments, etc., then shame on you.

  5. I am suppose to feel sorry because these guys have to pay for thier own insurance now? please no more stories about how they have to pay for stuff themselves now.they have known for over a year now that there was a chance for a lockout and even the guys making the min. had that time to save and be prepared for it. instead of counsling they will just use the money for drugs untill this thing is settled and the teams have to pay for it again.

  6. I love these stories about how the players are the victims of the lockout. The only thing these players are victims of is a society that kept pushing them along because they were good at playing football.

    These guys keep showing that they don’t have the necessary life skills to make it in the real world. They cannot budget their money, cannot seem to follow the rules established by society, and now they cannot refrain from drugs without someone holding their hands along the way.

    Yeah, keep proving to me that you don’t deserve more of that 9-10 billion dollars that I contribute to.

  7. When are th players held reponsible for their decisions in life? You already want them absolved of any responsibility after they play, and by definition of any responsibility while they play, and want the owners to pay for it…….. Hey, I read your web sight, I want my pension… and while I am it, we the readers feel we deserve 60 pct of your income some how I dont think your for that…..oh and I forgot, I want to see 10 years of your financials…..

  8. while I am nominating myself president of the readers association…..but since we are not certified we are acting as a trade union. THE UNION wants 60 pct of all income nbc recieves….and a pension when we retire from reading your board or watching your news… and access to all financials.

  9. dude from South Park on your picture gave me a chuckle to see, I haven’t seen South Park since I was like 12.

    In other news, this “issue” here is really a non-issue. I’m sorry to say, but if you’re too stupid to tell yourself that you’re making more money than 90% of the country to stay off drugs, then maybe you should hop on the drugs, OD already and let men with some common-sense strap it up and play. Can’t possibly be much worse than crackheads, potheads, etc.

  10. Hey Rosenthal, not to hard to figure out which side your on. If the rich elite players thought about everyone else in the league, they wouldn’t have walked away from the table. They knew this would happen. The NFLPA, if they cared about their former membership they would have set up programs like this.

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