James Slipper has been banned for two months after testing positive to cocaine twice, with Rugby Australia now focused on the Wallabies prop's rehabilitation from depression rather than his return date.
Slipper tested positive in February, a result kept confidential as per RA's illicit drugs policy, then another earlier this month.
A tribunal panel opted for a two-month suspension and fine of $27,500, having heard submissions from RA and the Queensland Reds about Slipper's year-long fight with depression.
It was the most lenient ban available under RA's guidelines, an indicator of what RA chief executive Raelene Castle termed "very significant personal issues".
"We have been working with him since February on these matters," Castle said.
"We are ensuing that James is receiving full help and support, including specialist medical treatment.
"It's an incredibly challenging time for him, his family and our immediate focus is on James' health and wellbeing while he takes an enforced period of absence from the game."
The bombshell follows a series of drug indiscretions from Reds star Karmichael Hunt, who is yet to play a Super Rugby game this season.
Castle rejected suggestions her organisation had a problem with drugs but acknowledged "you can always do more" when it came to players' welfare.
"People work really hard to hide any mental health or depression challenges they have themselves for a very long time," she said.
"As a sport, we need to try and encourage people to come forward earlier.
"We do over 500 tests a year ... and the results of that would suggest there is no issue for Rugby Australia in relation to illicit drugs."
Rugby Union Players Association boss Ross Xenos agreed on both counts.
"Even a player of James' stature, a well-respected person in rugby, still did not feel confident to openly speak out about his issues ... as much as we talk about mental health, there's still a lot to do," Xenos said.
"His first emotion when he found out about this situation was relief and I think that's an indication of some of the demons he has been battling."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is among those to have reached out to Slipper since last Thursday's tribunal hearing, while Reds chairman Jeff Miller noted it was important everybody understood "the personal situation, what he's going through and how that has an impact on decision making".
Slipper apologised to his family, teammates, coaches, rugby fans, RA and the Queensland Rugby Union and asked for privacy in a written statement.
"The advice is that I will make a speedy and total recovery. In no way do my personal circumstances excuse my actions but I recognise now that I was not coping and that I need to properly address these wellness issues," he wrote.
"I take full responsibility for my actions and apologise unreservedly.
"I fully intend to be a better, more well-adjusted person."
Castle is satisfied RA settled on the right punishment for Slipper.
"I have to trust a very experienced and very knowledgeable panel and they had all of the information in front of them, and that was the recommendation," she said.