Athletes Unite: Opioids, Marijuana, Alternative Health Solutions

Founded by a group of retired professional athletes from a variety of sports leagues including the NFL, UFC, NBA and NHL, Athletes For Care (A4C) is a community of athletes united by the collective belief that health crises such as opioid addiction, depression and chronic pain can be treated by alternative solutions like proper nutrition, yoga, and medicinal cannabis.

The organization founders include UFC legends Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock; the NFL’s Jake Plummer, Nate Jackson, Eben Britton and Marvin Washington; Cliff Robinson from the NBA; former NHL tough guys Riley Cote and Darren McCarty and a long list of other high performance athletes uniting as one voice to advocate for research, education and compassion when addressing the important health challenges facing athletes and the public at large.

For the first time, Athletes For Care has united athletes from all different leagues, each of whom until now have been advocating on behalf of their own interests. Joining forces, each of these athletes unique perspectives on cannabis and the implications of making it readily available in both pro sports and to the general public, creates a stronger voice to help change public and league perception of cannabis use.

A chief goal of Athletes For Care is to explore how the compounds in the cannabis plant can treat a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Accordingly, the organization has teamed up with a research institute The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University  to seek opportunities for its members to participate in groundbreaking research by collecting data that will inform policy consistent with the organizationߣs objectives.

As cannabis legalization sweeps the nation, pro athletes are at the forefront of the movement. Each Athletes For Care member has his or her own inspiring story that led them to become advocates; whether it was to kick an opioid addiction, provide pain relief from injuries suffered during their career, or for preventative health maintenance.

For example Bas Rutten, like many athletes from high impact sports, used (and became addicted to) opioids and other painkillers as a way of dealing with pain. By the end of his addiction, Rutten was taking between eight and ten 80MG Oxycontins a day. Thanks to CBD Oil and a healthier lifestyle, Rutten put opioid addition behind him and is committed to helping other athletes do the same.

With the primary mission of supporting a better quality of life for all athletes, A4C is also creating a community for athletes to provide support, opportunity and purpose to one another after a career in sports. A4C will help men and women achieve post-career success through a suite of programs designed by athletes and for athletes including art programs, mentoring and support group programs, online educational course work, internships, and access to business opportunities within new and emerging industries.

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