Brett Favre has never been shy about talking about his past addictions. Favre’s struggles with painkillers during his time as an NFL player are well known as he battled addiction to pills during his tenure in Green Bay, most notably back in 1996 when he voluntarily entered the league’s substance-abuse program.
On the latest edition of Bolling With Favre with guest with Dr. Phil, the hall of fame QB decided to speak on it again.
Via Bro Bible:
“So, 1994, was when it started,” Favre responded. “Now I had taken pain pills before that. Not necessarily football injuries. But when I first realized that I liked the pain pills was after that Philadelphia game in ’94. And it wasn’t… the next time I got injured, for example, it may have been three weeks later and I sprained my ankle. I don’t know if it was sprained enough to warrant getting pain pills, but I remembered the effect that it had. And I liked it. And I thought, ‘What the heck? Why not?’”
Favre goes on to say that it happened two or three times during the rest of that season to the point where it got to him taking two pain pills every day. In his mind, however, he knew it wasn’t right because he would try not to ask the same people to give him the pills.
“You start learning to manipulate the system,” said Favre. “And you become very good at it.”
“During the ’95 season I had a seizure the night before a game,” recalled Favre. “An all out seizure.”
He then met with a neurologist who told him that his lack of sleep was short circuiting his system.
However, Favre says “as they dug deeper they found out I had an addiction to pain pills.”
Favre then claimed he would stop taking the pills, but he didn’t, and when he had another seizure in the hospital that offseason when he was having ankle surgery, he says, “That scared me.”
Five years ago, Favre was in an interview with Graham Bensinger and talked about how he once took 15 Vicodin’s at a time.
“I tell people all the time that I took 15 Vicodin ES at one time. And they’re like, ‘It didn’t knock you out?’ It did totally the opposite — I was up. And that’s kind of the way with addictions, too. What it’s supposed to do, it doesn’t,” Favre said. “So when you take two pain pills, you’re knocked out and you don’t feel pain and you wake up, what, four, five, six hours later. I would be up just talking, I didn’t want to sleep. Until about 10 o’clock the next morning when we were in offensive meetings was about the only time I wanted to sleep. Not a good time to sleep! And I would doze off, leaning back into a coat rack in our quarterback’s meeting room.
“This went on for a long time. It wasn’t just ’96. That’s when people knew about it because of the announcement. I don’t know, it started three years before? I was taking pain pills before that but maybe not abusing them.”
Favre, who was selected with the 33rd pick of the 1991 NFL draft, went on to play 20 seasons in the NFL while winning three MVP’s and a Super Bowl.
Favre racked up 71,838 passing yards and 508 touchdown passes in his legendary career. He also ran for 1,844 yards and 14 touchdowns.