Brett Favre says painkiller addiction could have killed him

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Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre says his painkiller addiction was so severe during his MVP years with the Green Bay Packers that it easily could have killed him.

On an episode of his podcast, Favre said he started to abuse painkillers early in his career, as he tried to play through injuries.

“In 1994 was when it started,” Favre said. “When I first realized I liked pain pills was after that Philadelphia game in 1994.”

Favre said he began taking more painkillers than he was supposed to, and it had real effects on his health.

“I was basically taking, in two days, a month’s prescription, which is crazy,” Favre said. “During the ’95 season I had a seizure the night before a game.”

Favre continued using pain pills even after he spent 75 days in an inpatient rehab facility, and eventually he hit rock bottom and had thoughts of suicide.

“I had eight pills in my possession,” Favre said. “Eight pills would not do what I needed it to do. It would give me zero buzz. I was home in Mississippi and I was as low as I possibly could be even though I had won the Super Bowl and won three MVPs in a row. I was low. I said it’s one of two things, I die, or I flush these pills down the toilet. I sat by the toilet for two hours, and eventually, I dumped the pills in the toilet, flushed them and I almost wanted to kill myself because of doing that. I could not believe that I’d actually done that, and I was so mad at myself because now what was I gonna do? It was really not the way you want to come off pain pills because it could kill you. I shook with cold sweats and hot sweats every night at 9 o’clock because every night at 9 o’clock was when I took them. But that was the last time. I was clean. It took me a couple months to where I started getting over, I want these pain pills real bad, that urge.”

Favre says it has now been more than 20 years since he has had any drugs or alcohol.

42 responses to “Brett Favre says painkiller addiction could have killed him

  1. Good thing the NFL culture of pushing pain pills, instead of say, allowing players to use weed for pain management without consequence, has changed over the past 25 years.

  2. It just so happens that ’95 thorough ’97 were his best seasons… doing it all and a’int feeling a thing! Glad he got cleaned though, loved watching him.

  3. if only there was a completely natural, non toxic and non addiction plant widely available to treat pain…..

  4. Pain pills are used to this day because they are not performance enhancing. Injections for pain are also allowed, but on a team by team basis. A lot of teams no longer use injections.

    The problem on pain pills and injections is their adverse effects on players later in life.

  5. Those were some powerful and brave words spoken by a player that everybody respected. Hopefully maybe just one person reads this and gets help. We hear about this epidemic we’re in now killing people forgetting that the bigger issue killing way more is this opioid epidemic. I for one have lost a family member to this demon, Thank you Brett Farve for speaking of this dark time in your life and hopefully it reaches someone in need and helps them.

  6. courageous of him to come out and admit those times, and illustrates how hard it is to kick addictions like that

  7. Good for him for being upfront about how dependent (addicted) he’d become, even during a period when he was performing at a high level on the field. After that experience, it’s good to see that it has “now been more than 20 years since he has had any drugs or alcohol.”

  8. Going through opioid withdrawal is a front row seat on a tour through hell. I am happy for him that he was able to get clean. So many do not succeed.

  9. Ruha Nuggetcrusher says:
    March 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    Good thing the NFL culture of pushing pain pills, instead of say, allowing players to use weed for pain management without consequence, has changed over the past 25 years.

    —————-

    Not arguing your point against pills being pushed but switching to weed is not the answer either. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.

    The answer is different for everyone but good health is not accomplished via either of these methods.

  10. Glad to hear that he was able to beat addiction . It’s so important for people in the public eye who have dealt with addiction or mental health issues to have the courage to speak out about their battles so those still struggling with either know they aren’t alone and they can get through it .

  11. You idiot hippies going on about Weed as a pain killer clearly have NO freaking idea.

    Here’s a clue… MaryJane does NOT kill pain like Vicodin does. Not even freaking close.

    It just makes you a “chilled out” glassy eyed dodo who wants to go eat Pop-tarts.

    Just because something “comes from the ground” does not make it good for you.

    Belladonna and toadstools also “come from the ground” and are “all natural” too…

    Freaking dimwits…

  12. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.
    —-
    No one goes through the dt’s when they don’t smoke weed. It may be psychologically addictive to those who are predisposed, but there is no such thing as a physical addiction to MJ.

  13. I take an opioid for severe, chronic back pain, which is going to continue to get worse. I have never gotten a “buzz” from it, however, something in my brain urges me to take more. It’s a constant battle. Luckily, I am drug tested and go through a pill count each month, which keeps me straight. Many, like Favre, are not that lucky. I the time has long passed that we find viable alternatives for serious pain. If that alternative is marijuana, then it’s time to legalize it. It’s clear that opioids are a far greater threat than marijuana.

  14. 2ruefan says:
    March 25, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    You idiot hippies going on about Weed as a pain killer clearly have NO freaking idea.

    Here’s a clue… MaryJane does NOT kill pain like Vicodin does. Not even freaking close.

    It just makes you a “chilled out” glassy eyed dodo who wants to go eat Pop-tarts.

    Just because something “comes from the ground” does not make it good for you.

    Belladonna and toadstools also “come from the ground” and are “all natural” too…

    Freaking dimwits…

    ——————-

    Amen…Amen…Preach on.. You are so right!
    If people need any more proof of what you are saying, there’s this GREAT documentary called “Reefer Madness”.
    It breaks down the dangers of weed. I recommend everyone see it.

  15. You idiot hippies going on about Weed as a pain killer clearly have NO freaking idea.

    Here’s a clue… MaryJane does NOT kill pain like Vicodin does. Not even freaking close.

    It just makes you a “chilled out” glassy eyed dodo who wants to go eat Pop-tarts.

    Just because something “comes from the ground” does not make it good for you.

    Belladonna and toadstools also “come from the ground” and are “all natural” too…

    Freaking dimwits…

    =======================================================================

    Daily weed smoker here! Every thing you wrote here is false. I use small amounts of cannabis daily to manage pain from sciatica and muscle spasms. Works like an absolute charm without intoxicating me or causing withdrawal. Also, I haven’t had a pop tart wince I’m 6 years old. My diet is about 50% vegetables/fruits, 25% meat, and 25% miscellaneous. I’m one of the healthiest 38 year olds you could possibly meet. Cannabis is not for everybody, but try and have an open mind and recognize that for a lot of people, it is a life saver. Sounds like it could’ve saved #4 years of misery.

  16. The pharmaceutical industry, the medical industry, our political representatives, etc., are all making billions while, at the same time, fighting to keep safer, cheaper drugs off our streets. I’m not blaming anyone but ourselves. We allow this corruption to happen. Brett Favre is a big supporter of those crooks, too, so cry me a river.

  17. obviously he suffered long term debilitating effects from the pain pills. Why else would anyone sign with the Vikings?

  18. Thank you for sharing your experience, Mr. Favre! This is an extremely important story.

    The league has been making inroads, but needs to redouble its efforts to be PROACTIVE in preventing injury, rather than reactive with pain meds.

    Concuccion protocol is good. Muchg better is a microcomputer shock sensor in the helmet, which starts to flash an LED light when one of cumulative impacts exceed a particular threshhold, requiring mandatory removal from the game.

  19. I must admit I dont care for favre most of the time he’s just not my cup of tea. But people are different and all don’t have to see eye to eye.
    That disclaimer given this is the most genuine and honest I’ve ever heard him. As a person who has suffered with addiction his story rings very very familiar. Often it does end up the devil on one shoulder and the other side of your rain on the other and the battle rages internally. The sitting still for two hours on a knifes edge deciding what to do, fighting the HUNGER, the craving is like a full on internal war.. just a suggestion from this VERY VERY flawed, imperfect individual. Stop selling casinos, copper fit, and jeans Brett. Talk like you do here to people and you’ll help others and help yourself to. Might even learn to forgive yourself. Of course this is just my opinion.

  20. Boy a day doesn’t go by without Favre finding a microphone and interviewing himself.

  21. packrule says:
    March 25, 2021 at 1:39 pm
    Ruha Nuggetcrusher says:
    March 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    Good thing the NFL culture of pushing pain pills, instead of say, allowing players to use weed for pain management without consequence, has changed over the past 25 years.

    —————-

    Not arguing your point against pills being pushed but switching to weed is not the answer either. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.

    The answer is different for everyone but good health is not accomplished via either of these methods.

    =————————-

    Need to do your research. Lots of ways to get the benefits of weed without having the effects of getting you high. Do your own research and don’t believe the lies said about the substance that can barely be called a drug but a vegetable substance.

  22. 2ruefan says:
    March 25, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    You idiot hippies going on about Weed as a pain killer clearly have NO freaking idea.

    Here’s a clue… MaryJane does NOT kill pain like Vicodin does. Not even freaking close.

    It just makes you a “chilled out” glassy eyed dodo who wants to go eat Pop-tarts.

    Just because something “comes from the ground” does not make it good for you.

    Belladonna and toadstools also “come from the ground” and are “all natural” too…

    Freaking dimwits…

    ——————–

    CBD has helped so many people with chronic pain and even blending with THC to help. Also, has helped people kick opioid addiction that are dealing with chronic pain.

    The fact that you called it “Mary Jane” and calling people “hippies” and “dimwitz” just shows you have about as much knowledge on the subject as fit a conservative high school principal would have in 1969. Dam hippies

  23. packrule says:
    March 25, 2021 at 1:39 pm
    Ruha Nuggetcrusher says:
    March 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    Good thing the NFL culture of pushing pain pills, instead of say, allowing players to use weed for pain management without consequence, has changed over the past 25 years.

    —————-

    Not arguing your point against pills being pushed but switching to weed is not the answer either. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.

    The answer is different for everyone but good health is not accomplished via either of these methods

    ————————————–

    weeds addictive??? Have u ever heard someone offer to suck a “slim jim” for weed? (as bob sagat says in half baked)
    Was in a movie but is true.

  24. I was in rehab with his brother 15-20 years ago.. maaaan I heard some stories. His brother was bad off and everyone in rehab is bad off. This dude would take bottles a 10 mg pain pills like it was nothing.

  25. I would be interested if Packers medical staff or management knew the extent of his addiction, if they enabled it or didn’t care about his long term health or if the excess pills were something he acquired on his own. And maybe not just the Packers but how every team in the league handles something like this.

  26. btw before anyone starts with the “u dont know addiction” comments in response to my above comment i know all too well. i was taking between 400-600mg of ms contin (morphine sulfate) pills daily. hit rock bottom when i threatened to kill my wife if she didnt find me more pills. had to detox by the “white knuckle” method. (i didnt know hell could exist on earth but i lived it with diarrhea…puking…restless legs….muscle cramps…cold sweats…and inability to sleep for roughly 10 days before i physically was able to feel somewhat decent) have been clean for roughly 14yrs.

  27. Reading the threads to these comments and discussions is like following an open room discussion in the nut house. And I’m saying that as one of the crazies in the room.
    This is just my opinion but as a person who quit alcohol, has been a green smoker most of my adult life that weed is not on the same shelf as opiates, tobacco, or alcohol or anything stronger. Weed ended up getting put on the controlled substances as high as it did predominantly for political reasons many many years ago. Times have changed and I think most, not all but most would say that weed is nowhere near the issue of a person who is drunk most nights or taking prescriptions for other than their intended purpose. I’m not throwing stones at others here I’m speaking from my personal experiences, and that of friends and acquaintances.
    Lots of drugs, substances, things imbibed bring out the worst in people or remove their filter, their judgment, sometimes to tragic consequences. But let’s keep things in their proper pew in the church and not demonize things that don’t require it. Of course that’s just my opinion.

  28. If you smoke weed every day, you are addicted to it. It’s not nearly as dangerous as pain-killing opiates, but it still has side effects.

    Smoking weed damages the lungs. If you’ve ever seen the tar that builds up in pipes and bongs, just know that the same tar is in your lungs. Even vaping is dangerous.

    Having said that, weed is still safer than taking pain pills. It can be ingested and CBScan be ingested or rubbed into affected locations

  29. Not arguing your point against pills being pushed but switching to weed is not the answer either. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.

    The answer is different for everyone but good health is not accomplished via either of these methods.
    ——

    MJ and opiates arent remotely comparable. Complete different ends of the spectrum. Am I advocating you bust a 3’ tall water bong out 3-4 times daily, absolutely not but like most things, when done in moderation it can help alleviate a lot of pain and heartache. An edible or a couple puffs for a nightcap is a legitimate alternative.

  30. As a recovering addict myself, I can relate to everything Favre is saying, as well as other commenters. If you’ve never had to go through opiate withdrawal you are truly fortunate. At my worst I was taking 500-600mgs a day of ms contin and oxycodone, along with Xanax and ambien. For people who are lucky enough to have not experienced it, opiate withdrawal is almost indescribably agonizing. I do what I can to help people who are going through what I did, and I have a ton of respect for Favre for speaking so candidly about his addiction, addicts helping each other is one of the only ways this problem has a chance of being defeated.

  31. As a former pain pill addict, I totally understand. Guess what? I too am clean from pain pill addiction…16 yrs. My addiction started when a Dr. started prescribing 30 vicodin a week. It’s pure hell quitting after a month or so. Doctors have some blame in the cycle too.

  32. The Face of the NFL in the 90’s was severely addicted to pain pills. Goodell certainly knew about it, but offered no real solutions. He was “protecting the shield.”

  33. knightwanderer says:
    March 25, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Reading the threads to these comments and discussions is like following an open room discussion in the nut house. And I’m saying that as one of the crazies in the room.
    This is just my opinion but as a person who quit alcohol, has been a green smoker most of my adult life that weed is not on the same shelf as opiates, tobacco, or alcohol or anything stronger. Weed ended up getting put on the controlled substances as high as it did predominantly for political reasons many many years ago. Times have changed and I think most, not all but most would say that weed is nowhere near the issue of a person who is drunk most nights or taking prescriptions for other than their intended purpose. I’m not throwing stones at others here I’m speaking from my personal experiences, and that of friends and acquaintances.
    Lots of drugs, substances, things imbibed bring out the worst in people or remove their filter, their judgment, sometimes to tragic consequences. But let’s keep things in their proper pew in the church and not demonize things that don’t require it. Of course that’s just my opinion.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    While all of what you say might be true, the one point which must be made is that weed is not a harmless drug. Studies have shown it does harmful things to the lungs and other organs. To me. it isn’t the answer, either.

  34. BuckyBadger says:
    March 25, 2021 at 3:53 pm
    packrule says:
    March 25, 2021 at 1:39 pm
    Ruha Nuggetcrusher says:
    March 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    Good thing the NFL culture of pushing pain pills, instead of say, allowing players to use weed for pain management without consequence, has changed over the past 25 years.

    —————-

    Not arguing your point against pills being pushed but switching to weed is not the answer either. If you know anything about addiction at all, guess what Weed is on the list of addictive drugs.

    The answer is different for everyone but good health is not accomplished via either of these methods.

    =————————-

    Need to do your research. Lots of ways to get the benefits of weed without having the effects of getting you high. Do your own research and don’t believe the lies said about the substance that can barely be called a drug but a vegetable substance.

    ——-

    The very same benefits can come from CBD with zero THC in it. So why is it that people claiming they need to control their pain don’t just use CBD?

  35. I would be interested if Packers medical staff or management knew the extent of his addiction, if they enabled it or didn’t care about his long term health or if the excess pills were something he acquired on his own. And maybe not just the Packers but how every team in the league handles something like this.
    ==========

    Everyone in that organization was invested in Brett. Top to bottom. Ron Wolfs job depended on him. Mike Holmgren was very vocal that his career was directly tied to Favres success, and lack thereof early on.

    Once they found out, they got him the help he needed.

    .. If you want to accuse them of dealing underhandedly, I suggest you look at how they treat players from a different angle;

    This team has had more career ending neck injuries than any team in the League. Not scrubs, All-Pros, HOF-caliber players. Sterling Sharpe, Nick Collins, Jermichael Finley, Mark Chmura, aside from the guys you probably wouldn’t remember. Why so many? Because they are not willing to jeopardize a players long term health an well being. Many of those players were cleared to resume their careers. But the Packers wouldn’t take that chance.

  36. Why to people become addicted to some of these drugs when they know the risks ?
    They’ve seen what they do to people

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