Brett Favre admitted to spending multiple stints in rehab during his NFL playing career

Retired NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.

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Retired NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

  • Brett Favre struggled with an addiction to Vicodin during his playing days, even taking as many as 14 pills at once.
  • He went to rehab twice for Vicodin addiction.
  • He went to rehab again a third time for drinking and was able to get sober after that.

In his last MMQB column for Sports Illustrated, veteran NFL reporter Peter King was able to get some candid comments from Brett Favre about his battles with addiction to his NFL career, including multiple stints in a drug rehabilitation facility.

“It is really amazing, as I think back, how well I played [in 1995],” Favre told King. “That was an MVP year for me. But that year, when I woke up in the morning, my first thought was, ‘I gotta get more pills.’ I took 14 Vicodin, yes, one time. I was getting an hour or two of sleep many nights. Maybe 30 minutes of quality sleep. I was the MVP on a pain-pill buzz.”

Favre went on to reveal that he had already done a 28-day stint in rehab once before, at a facility in Rayville, Louisiana, at the behest of his then-fiancee (and now wife) Deanna and his agent Bus Cook. That treatment program proved effective, at least for a time.

“When I got out, I was able to control myself for a while. I wouldn’t take anything for a day or two, and I wouldn’t drink. But I was a binge drinker. When I drank, I drank to excess. So when I went in the second time, to the place in Kansas, I remember vividly fighting them in there,” Favre said, referring to a trip to rehab he took after the end of the 1995 season.

“They said drinking was the gateway drug for me, and they were right, absolutely right, but I wouldn’t admit it. I will never forget one of the nurses. I had it all figured out. I fought with this nurse all the time. I would not admit the drinking problem. At the end she said to me, ‘You’ll be back.'”

And he was back, in 1998, he admitted to King.

“Guess who was waiting there when I walked in – that same nurse. This time it was strictly for drinking. I didn’t go back to the pills. I admitted my problem, I was in there 28 days, and it worked.

“When I got out, the toughest thing was the first three months, because I had to change my thought process,” Favre said, but fortunately it appears that he was able to get sober and stay sober ever since.