AFL star Rex Hunt opens up about his opioid addiction and mental breakdown


Fishing TV star and former AFL player Rex Hunt, 73, reveals he overdosed on opioids leading to a mental breakdown that saw him spend seven weeks in a psych ward

Rex Hunt has revealed he overdosed on opioids leading to a downward spiral that saw him suffer a mental breakdown, ending with him spending seven weeks in a psychiatric facility. 

Speaking on the podcast You Cannot Be Serious on Wednesday, the former AFL star and host of Rex Hunt’s Fishing Adventure, 73, revealed the details of his roadside incident when he called police for aid. 

The television presenter, who was diagnosed with ‘bipolar depression‘, said his mental health went downhill after he got hooked on opioids seven years ago. 

‘I overdosed on opioids and went downhill very, very quickly. I am completely off opioids (now),’ he told host and long-time friend of 50 years Sam Newman. 

‘I am certainly on a couple of medications from my psychiatrist to try and level out my brain, but it is a big thing.’

Rex Hunt, 73, (pictured) suffered a mental breakdown in January on the side of the Princes Freeway in Victoria, which saw him do a seven week stint in a psychiatric facility

Rex Hunt, 73, (pictured) suffered a mental breakdown in January on the side of the Princes Freeway in Victoria, which saw him do a seven week stint in a psychiatric facility

Hunt revealed he originally got hooked on opioids when he took strong pain killers following surgery for a debilitating neck injury.

Seven years later, on January 17 after years of battling with bipolar, Hunt made a frantic call to the police for assistance when he pulled his car over near Little River in Victoria.  

He claimed thugs had attacked him and threatened him with a knife and gun, an incident which police found no evidence of. 

Speaking on the podcast You Cannot Be Serious on Wednesday, the former AFL star revealed the details of his roadside incident when he called police for aid

Speaking on the podcast You Cannot Be Serious on Wednesday, the former AFL star revealed the details of his roadside incident when he called police for aid

Hunt was then taken to a hospital in Geelong and was found to be suffering from a mental breakdown which saw him admitted to a psychiatric facility. 

‘I spent the next seven weeks in the Victoria Clinic in Prahran in my own room on some special medication and then I was discharged a few weeks ago,’ he said. 

The former footy player won a premiership with Richmond and also played for both St Kilda and Geelong before becoming a football broadcaster in the 1990s. 

He later became an Australian fishing icon hosting his own TV show for 14 seasons from 1991 to 2004, where he was famous for kissing his catch and then throwing them back.

In 2021, the Melbourne legend terminated his radio career by launching a furious on-air rant at his bosses over a missed ad break during his Footy Nightline show.

The television presenter, who was diagnosed with 'bipolar depression', said his mental health went downhill after he got hooked on opioids seven years ago following a neck surgery

The television presenter, who was diagnosed with ‘bipolar depression’, said his mental health went downhill after he got hooked on opioids seven years ago following a neck surgery



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