I grew up about 30 miles North of Chris Herren. Being the same age, I followed his career from Highschool through College at Fresno State then to the hometown Boston Celtics via the Denver Nuggets. So his fall from grace (after what appeared to be a remarkable recovery) was disappointing.
Herren tells Bromfield teens and parents tough truths
…sums up what Herren has been doing since getting clean in the middle of 2008. Here are some great quotes from the article:
On coming back home to play for the Celtics, essentially drug free:
Back in his home town of Fall River, Herren invited old friends to a barbecue. During the party, one of his high school buddies sold him an Oxycontin pill.
“I had no idea,” Herren said. “That decision changed my life forever. From that 40-milligram pill for $20, I ended up taking 1,600 milligrams a day, for $25,000 a month. I had no idea.”
From the ages of 28 to 32, Herren described himself as “a stone-cold street junkie.” His basketball career gone, he described selling his wife’s jewelry and his children’s video games to get drug money. Not until he had suffered a couple of near-fatal overdoses and been rejected by his family did he finally face his problem and stick with a rehabilitation program.
On what or who a drug addict is:
“The image of a drug addict has changed,” Herren said. It is not the junkie on the street corner anymore, but the kid in the fashionable jeans and trendy boots. “Every drug addict has a first day. That street corner, that’s the last day.”
On the other dangers teens are facing:
Herren noted that drug abuse is not the only form of self-harm that takes place among young people. He described a young woman at one of his talks who was cutting herself in response to bullying at school. Then he looked out across the seats in Cronin and addressed the audience directly.
“To the kids who ducked their heads when I said ‘cutting,’ I saw it,” he said. “Pull someone aside and say you need some help.”
More: Herren Tells Bromfield Teens and Parents Tough Truths - the Harvard Press