Packers’ Aaron Rodgers credits U.S.-banned psychedelic for best NFL season

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he learned a “different perspective” after he used ayahuasca in Peru. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 4 (UPI) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his experience with ayahuasca, a plant-based psychedelic that is illegal in the United States, “paved the way” for the “best season” of his decorated NFL career.

Rodgers spoke about his experience during an appearance on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, which went live Wednesday on YouTube.

Ayahuasca, a brown-reddish drink with a strong taste and smell, contains the active chemical dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies DMT as a hallucinogen, and it is associated with religious practices and rituals in South America.

The substance has no approved medical use in the United States and is considered a Schedule I drug. Marijuana, heroin, LSD, peyote and ecstasy are among other Schedule I drugs.

DMT also is listed among the NFL’s banned substances. NFL players are blood tested at random during training camp and throughout the season and playoffs.

Rodgers said he used ayahuasca while on a trip to Peru with former girlfriend Danica Patrick before the 2020 season. He got emotional during his podcast interview when he discussed the experience.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Rodgers said. “I really don’t. I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe bringing things to happen when they’re supposed to happen.

“There’s signs and synchronicities all around us at all times if we’re awake enough to see them and to take them in and to listen to our intuition when it’s speaking to us or pounding us in the head saying, ‘Hey dummy, this is what you’re supposed to be doing.'”

Rodgers, 38, won NFL MVP honors for the 2011 and 2014 seasons. He went on to claim the honor again for his 2020 and 2021 campaigns.

Rodgers said the experience set him on “my course to be able to go back in to my job and have a different perspective on things. To be way more free at work, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover.”

“I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career [2020],” Rodgers said.

He also said the experience helped his mental health.

Rodgers is entering his 18th season. The 10-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro led the league in quarterback rating in each of the last two seasons. He threw a league- and career-high 48 touchdown passes in 2020.

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