Zach Orr shocked the NFL when he retired from football at the age of 24 after a CAT scan revealed a congenital spine condition.

Freshly removed from the environment of the NFL — one that is rife with opioid abuse and addiction — Orr is now setting his eyes on a different battle. He’s going to join forces with the Maryland public health agency in the fight against opioid addiction.

“The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Monday that Orr appears in a series of public service announcements that will be shown on television and in movie theaters,” the Associated Press reported. “The agency says the PSAs aim to destigmatize addiction by treating it as a disease instead of something shameful.”

This is a tremendous way for Orr to use his influence. And it’s one that another former NFL player, one who has become an advocate for medical marijuana over opioids, is excited about as well.

Opioid addiction is an epidemic in America these days, with health-care providers handing out pills like candy, especially among the elderly.

As we mentioned previously, it’s also an epidemic in the NFL. As such, the NFLPA and the NFL have both indicated they will be looking into medical marijuana to see if it is a viable alternative to opioids (more on that here).

Hopefully the efforts of people like Orr and Eugene Monroe will help open up eyes around the nation to help curb the use of these dangerous drugs, which are extremely addictive and ruin lives.