Brett Favre Talks About Past Vicodin Addiction
On August 6, 2016, Brett Favre, retired Green Bay Packers quarterback and three-time MVP will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Recently, Favre appeared on Graham Bensinger and spoke candidly about his Vicodin addiction. Vicodin is a highly-addictive opioid prescription for pain relief. He stated that he knew what he was doing was wrong, but liked the way the drugs made him feel.
“I took 15 Vicodin at one time. Two gave me an effect I liked. After a month, two didn’t do anything, so I’d take three . . . and then four and so on. . . . I knew that 15 was hard to come by. A month’s prescription is 30 pills or something, depending on what they prescribe for you, and I was going through that in two days. I would ask this guy for pills and that guy for pills, after a while I was going back around pretty quickly.”
Though he beat the Vicodin addiction 20 years ago, he said it nearly took over his life. He knew he would have to quit before matters got even worse:
“I’d hit rock bottom and I said, I’m going to flush these down the toilet. I remember when I poured them in the toilet and it started to flush, I almost crawled into the toilet to go after them because I thought, ‘What in the world did you do?’ I was so dependent on them.”
Instead of using detox or drug addiction recovery services, he quit cold turkey: “That was the worst month. I shook every night, cold sweats, it was a constant battle.” The nerve-racking symptoms he described are typical of opioid withdrawals.
Additionally, he noted that his love of football helped him beat the dependency:
“The one constant through all that was football, and for me, it was a good place to escape. It gave me a way to escape but also feel like I was actually doing something good.”
Favre will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this Saturday. His wife Deanna will serve as his presenter.
According to a 2013 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from substance abuse disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A, Psychology