Former NBA Point Guard Chris Herren Warns About Drug Use


Chinny Njoku

Herren warns students about the perils of drug abuse.

Angelic Menzel, Managing Editor, Senior

On October 5, former NBA athlete Chris Herren met with the student body to share with them his very personal story about the effects of substance abuse. Growing up, Herren attended Durfee High School, and was considered one of their most promising athletes. He scored up to 2,000 career points, and on the outside appeared to be doing everything right. Herren told students how something so “innocent” as getting drunk every Friday night could be the start of something far worse, addiction. Since 2009, Herren has spoken to over one million students and communities in hopes of helping and inspiring as many people as he can about substance abuse.

“Even if I only end up helping one person today, that’s all that matters,” Herren said.

Herren shared his story in an effort to promote alcohol and drug prevention, starting with the youth. He expressed how important it is to focus on day one rather than the last day, and to not let things get to that point in the first place.

Herren played for the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, and even overseas, and never appeared to be going down a dark path. He even spoke about some of the moments where he truly felt he had reached rock bottom.

Herren created his own nonprofit in 2011, The Herren Project, that offers free services such as treatment placement assistance, long term recovery support, financial support for programs, recovery housing, and a prevention education program for schools and communities.

Through his program and projects, Herren strives to continue to inspire others who were just like him, and help them on the road to recovery. He remembered being on the other side of the issue, and being skeptical.

“When I was in high school, I remember some 35 year old guy talking to us about drug abuse. And, just like some of you, I wanted to skip this talk. Why am I here? That will never be me, all I do is drink and smoke, I’m never gonna be that guy,” Herren said.

Luckily, Herren’s Pelham audience was less skeptical when listening to his experiences.

“I really related to his speech and felt like it was very different compared to what I expected it to be like,” senior Rosalie Acher said. “I expected him to just repeat what everyone else has about drugs and substance abuse, to simply state the obvious. Instead he shared his own story and experience that made me feel like I was listening to someone who really struggled, was able to push through and truly wanted us to understand the powerful effects of addiction.”