NFL legend and former Green Bay Packers and New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre said an addiction to painkillers led him to contemplate suicide shortly after steering his team to a Super Bowl title in 1997.
Favre became dependant on painkillers while dealing with injuries in 1994. He suffered two seizures the following year after increasing his intake, prompting him to enter rehab for 75 days.
The three-time MVP said he “fell right back into the cycle” of his addiction after leaving rehab but eventually managed to overcome it by flushing the pills down the toilet.
“I was as low as I possibly could be,” Favre said on an episode of his podcast. “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.
“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’ve actually done that, and I was so mad at myself because now what was I gonna do?
“I shook with cold and hot sweats every night. But that was the last time. I was clean. It took me a couple more to get over the urge.”
Favre began his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 before moving to the Packers, where he established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time during a 16-season spell.
He also played for the Minnesota Vikings and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016 as one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for over 70,000 yards and 500 touchdowns.