Ex-NBA addict spreads message about staying drug and alcohol free

chris-herren-boston-12Chris Herren, the former NBA player who battled drug addiction, returned to Ocean City to spread his message about staying drug– and alcohol–free.

A former NBA player’s charmed life took a turn for the worse in a series of bad choices, and he lost everything as he became addicted first to alcohol, then to cocaine and finally to heroin, NBC40 reported.

“If I can start that process by speaking in front of a group of kids, it’s a beautiful thing,” said Herren.

Herren, a basketball legend from Massachusetts, realized his dreams by playing in the NBA, only to lose it all to addiction.

The crowd of 250 students, educators and local officials listen to his story from his rise to success and to his tragic downfall.

The star athlete described his first time doing drugs during college. What he described as a one time recreational activity turned into a 14-year nightmare.

“They need to get familiar with day one.  I think our kids are shown so many visuals and stories about the last day of addiction and the horrors of it and not the first day,” explained Herren.

Herren overdosed four times and has seven felony charges as a result of his addiction.  He was saved by NARCAN, the heroin overdose antidote, something that many south jersey police departs are now armed with given the rise of heroin usage.

“You really never know the impact, but I’ll tell you one thing, they will walk away from it knowing that you can struggle and you can find strength and you can over come and you can live a good life if you’re willing to face it,” said Herren.

After playing 70 games from 1999-2001, Herren’ NBA career was over after a season ending knee injury.

During his NBA career, Herren played 45 games for Denver Nuggets (averaging 3.1 ppg, 2.5 apg) and 25 games for Boston Celtics (3.3 ppg, 2.2 apg).

In total, Herren appeared in 70 NBA games, averaging 3.2 ppg, 2.4 apg in 14.4 minutes per contest. After being released by the Celtics, Herren went on to play professionally for teams in Italy, Poland, Turkey, China, and Iran.

He has since refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else, along with a mission to help others.


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