Photo by Jim Trocchio

News | 06.27.2022

Former NHL Player Riley Cote Says Psychedelics Can Help Treat Brain Injuries

From defeat to dosing, here's why Riley Cote launched Athletes For Care.

You might remember Riley Cote for his four seasons in the NHL on the Philadelphia Flyers. Today, you might know him as the co-founder of Athletes for Care.

One night in 2009 led Cote to consider retiring from the NHL. But instead, he left a brutal fight with a large black eye and headed to the dressing room. It wasn’t until Cote had to blow his nose that he realized something else was wrong.

Blowing his nose, the air didn’t escape from his nostrils; it traveled up into his face and swelled the space behind his good eye, prompting it to shut close.

After suffering nerve-wracking injuries like this, Cote thought retirement was his next move. After all, his time playing professional hockey was made up of intense training and off-ice antics like parties, drugs, and alcohol.

Fast forward to today, we’re now hearing Riley Cote’s name rather frequently within an entirely different industry. He’s been making monumental moves in the cannabis space while shedding light on the healing powers of psychedelics.

He’s a firm advocate for plant-based medicines and alternatives to pharmaceuticals. One of his goals is to help athletes with post-concussion symptoms that can linger from days to months.

His current work with alternative medicine lies within his group, Athletes for Care. The organization strives to promote the benefits of alternative medicines for athletes, whether for their physical or mental health.

He even holds ceremonies with different retired athletes struggling with similar issues, where they dose psilocybin and experiment with the substance.

Athletes for Care first launched with cannabis in mind, promoting its benefits and therapeutic properties. But, as western society started dabbling in psychedelics and promoting their use and research, Athletes for Care broadened its horizons.

The group is also comprised of former NFL running backs Tiki Barber and Chris Johnson alongside UFC’s Bas Rutten.

All the athletes and names that make up Athletes for Care are passionate advocates for athletes’ health, safety, and wellbeing worldwide. In addition, it strives to improve people’s options for treating health issues from concussions to depression.

One of its biggest goals is to help athletes lean off substance abuse and opioid dependency. As of now, the group’s board meetings consist of finding new ways to incorporate psychedelics into the healing journey for athletes.

The goal for social change isn’t that far away, and normalizing the use of psychedelic substances is almost upon us. For more information about Athletes for Care, visit its website at

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