Former Dolphins Player: "I Was Taking About 1,000 Vicodins a Month"

Categories: Sports
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During his seven year career with the Miami Dolphins in the '80s tight end Dan Johnson became known as the King of Pain for being able to bounce back from numerous injuries and broken bones, but following two back surgeries he became the King of Pain Pills. Unfortunately, Johnson's addiction isn't that uncommon. Former NFL players are found to misuse pain pills at a rate four times higher than the general public according to a new study commissioned by ESPN and assisted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"I was taking about 1,000 Vicodins a month," Johnson tells ESPN. "People go, 'That's impossible. That's crazy.' No, it's exactly what I was taking. I mean, believe me, I'd love to be off medications. That's my worry every day, to make sure I have medication."

Johnson even broke down in tears during the interview when he reveals the addiction got so out of control that it almost drove him to suicide.



The survey questions hundreds of NFL players who had retired between the late '70s and 2006. 52 percent admitted to using pain pill during their playing days, with 71 percent of that group saying they misused the drugs during that time. Fifteen percent of those who misused drugs during their playing days admits to still misusing the drugs this day.

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12 comments
medical414
medical414

Vicodin addiction is a very serious problem as it involves both chemical and psychological dependency. It is one of the most common forms of drug abuse. Vicodin addiction does not discriminate and affects all types of users from all walks of life and all socioeconomic and cultural backgroundsVicodin Addiction

J.T.
J.T.

Maybe it says more about me than anything else, but this doesn't seem like too much to me. It isn't vicodin, but I take well over 2000 Excedrin PM a month (rounded down). 15 at a time 5 to 6 times a day. Well, I've moved up to 16 at a time the past week or so.

I've just built up a tolerance over the past 17 years.

And before it is said about me by the commenter Justsaying, no I'm not exaggerating or looking for attention. I just don't see it as a big deal. And I'm way too depressed to try to do anything but sleep as much as possible.

JustSaying
JustSaying

I don't know how true that can be. Vicodin contains 750mg of acetaminophen. The daily limit of acetaminophen is 4,000mg. For Johnson to take that high a dose and not have extensive liver failure is either a miracle or, what I believe, an exaggeration.

Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis

If you are taking that much Exedrin you are crazy. If you do develop Gastrointestinal bleed it will be very very hard to treat since your blood will have a very difficult time clotting. As far as the amount of Vicodin he was taking, it is a lot and I am sure he caused some damage to his liver.

What I wonder is how he was getting all of that medication. Buying it off the street, getting it from one doctor (which is scary), or doctor shopping. The opiate issues in south Florida and across the US is an epidemic.

Dgb
Dgb

21 500mg Acetaminophen is considered a fatal dose, although spread over 24 hours it will take numerous doses to kill a liver. If he is taking 33 pills a day, then he can survive. It would be more likely that he would suffocate from lung failure than liver failure.

Just saying
Just saying

Or a tolerance slowly built up over time.

Bowlfer333
Bowlfer333

Actually Vicodin has 500mg of acetaminophen, its the extra strength that has 750mg. And although the daily limit is 4000mg, it takes around 12,000mg a day to become toxic. Also take into consideration that he is a large athlete, he can probably tolerate higher levels, maybe around 15,00mg and with all that exercise he probably metabolizes at an incredible rate. Either way, hes still taking around 16,500mg daily, which has to have shot his liver.

Guest
Guest

I concur, the toxic dose for Acetaminophen is something like 10g and he was taking 1000 a month, which is about 33 per day??? Even taking 7.5/325 that would be about close to the toxic dose of Acetaminophen per day...I find it hard to believe that he still has a life let alone a liver if this was true...the story is sad nonetheless and Vicodin is seriously addictive and ruins a lot of lives.

King Douche
King Douche

HemiVemi, you could be the biggest comment spammer in history and NO, I'm not going to visit your shitty overseas website.

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