Durfee High School basketball legend Chris Herren, profiled in his new book “Basketball Junkie,” shared his story Thursday at Tiverton High School of going from a rising star in professional basketball to hitting rock bottom when he was found in Fall River, addicted to heroin.
Sheila Kauffmann, community service learning coordinator at the high school and member of the Tiverton Prevention Coalition, which put on the event, said Herren shared his dark and painful story of addiction, making it clear that in all the years of use he never ran into anyone who started out by first using heroin and cocaine.
"He cautioned teens and parents about the use of things like alcohol and marijuana," she said. "He is brutally honest about all the places his addiction took him, including near death on more than one occasion. It was emotionally charged, insightful, deeply personal and filled with humility and hope.
Kauffman said Herren offers his story to people in hopes of reaching just one person and said he receives many emails from students asking for help. He spoke about the Herren Project, which is an organization he formed to educate at-risk populations on addiction and help others in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety.
An eighth grade student referred to the presentation as "life-changing," Kauffmann added.
"We had many students who stayed after the presentation both during the day and this evening to ask questions, express their gratitude, ask for advice, take photos and have their book "Basketball Junkie" signed by him.