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Brett Favre Makes Starting Confession About His Battle With Addiction

Retired Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre revealed to 'Monday Morning Quarterback' columnist Peter King that his struggle with prescription pill addiction was more difficult than most people realized. While it's public knowledge that Favre went to rehab once, he claims he did two more stints in rehab that he kept under wraps.

Favre was addicted to Vicodin in large doses. King recalls back in 1995, when he was doing some behind-the-scenes interviews with the Packers, and spent a lot of time with the quarterback. He claims that even late at night, Favre appeared 'wired'.

“You thought, ‘Man, this guy’s high on life.’ You didn’t know there was a reason for it," Favre remembers. "It is really amazing, as I think back, how well I played that year. 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.’"

Favre says he was getting about two hours of sleep per night and would take 14 painkillers at a time. I was the MVP on a pain-pill buzz.

"The crazy thing was, I’m not a night owl. Without pills I’d fall asleep at 9:30. But with pills, I could get so much done, I just figured, ‘This is awesome.’"

Favre's then fiancé, now wife, Deanna, would find his pills and flush them down the toilet. Eventually, the athlete went into rehab in a Kansas City facility. He spent 72 days there, and it made the news, but Favre says not everything made the news about his struggle.

“I actually went to rehab three times,” Favre confesses. “I saw the most successful, smart people — doctors, professional people — lose it all, ruin their lives."

He says the second time he went to rehab they warned him not just to get off pills, but to give up alcohol. Favre says he was a 'binge drinker', especially when he couldn't get his pills, but he didn't want to admit it.

"They said drinking was the gateway drug for me, and they were right, absolutely right, but I wouldn’t admit it," he says, remembering how he fought them. "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.’"

He says he went back for a final time in 1998 for his drinking problem. "Guess who was waiting there when I walked in — that same nurse."

Favre managed to quit drinking and painkillers, and he's enjoying his retirement now.

Speaking of retiring, King is retiring his famous column, much to the dismay of NFL fans. The column has been a weekly staple for years, but King is leaving Sports Illustrated and MMQB, the NFL-only site he created with the magazine. He'll be focusing his future career on television.

His very last column gave King the chance to offer a lot of thank-yous to people he's worked with over the years, but he had a special lengthy note for Favre.

"Thank you, Brett Favre, for being the most compelling person I’ve covered in my 29 years here," he wrote.

Source: Yahoo Sports
Photos: Cliff/Flickr, kyleburning/Flickr, Arnie Papp/Wikimedia, Mike Morbeck/Wikimedia

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