Former NBA Star Chris Herren Talks About Addiction

Former basketball star and now recovering drug addict Chris Herren spoke to large crowds Thursday at Tiverton High School.

Durfee High School basketball legend Chris Herren, profiled in his new book “Basketball Junkie,” shared his story Thursday at  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.

For more information about Chris Herren, go to http://www.ahoopdream.com/ and http://www.theherrenproject.org/.

East side February 06, 2012 at 03:29 PM
The loser business model - reaping the benefits of being a past drug user by telling the story and getting paid for it. Only in America!!!
SP February 06, 2012 at 04:14 PM
East Side- Loser business model???? What Chris Herren is doing should be commended!!! He speaks to hundreds of students a year to show what he went through and these students are touched by it. To his point, if he can reach and save one person, then his speaking engagements are a success. I read his book and can only imagine what he went through. Show some compassion!
Kim February 06, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Chris Herren also did this at PHS. I have three students in the high school, I was proud of them when they came home and shared his stuggles. It takes alot to peak the interest of teenagers nowadays, and the fact they got something out of his story is something that I support. Not too long ago, there was also a documentary on TV about him. They were again excited to watch. My husband and I watched with them. Honesty, compassion, and culpability are some of the values we strive to see in our children. I don't care where they learn that, as long as they do.
East side February 06, 2012 at 05:30 PM
To SP - what this shows is that any individual can profit from misuse of drugs. This is not encouraging especially with young children, if they mess up now with drugs, that's ok, there is still time to write a book and then do the don't do drugs speach? He should be ashamed of himself. If he wanted compassion then he should of just said no to drugs.
East side February 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Again, why do all of the past drug users (losers) give don't do drug speaches in schools. What the schools need are people that didn't do drugs and all of the accomplishments they achieved. By putting a favorable outcome of past drug use are not the shining statements we should be communicating.
portsmouth teen February 07, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Since chris runs a non-profit organization can you please show how he makes money ?? and you goes to schools and speaks to students to insure that they do not make the same mistakes he did. I don't believe it would have the same effect if we had someone that had no prior use of drugs because they would have no personal view. I think you need to get some facts please eastside.
A great family town February 07, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Don't really have an opinion both make good points but portsmhout teen the organization is non profit, not the speaker. He is paid for his time, travel etc just like a job. He may pay himself $50 a session or $2000 I have no idea but I guarantee he is making money from it. Hopefully he stays well and does have a positive influence regardless of either sides opinion.
East side February 07, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Fact - he pulls a salary from his non-profit. You'll learn this in your accounting class.
Toby February 07, 2012 at 10:37 PM
East side- I am concerned with the way we admire people like this as well. It is actually quite sickening. The article mentions that he uses his past experience to speak about the dangers of marijuana? C'mon Chris I think we all know that is not where you went wrong!
East side February 08, 2012 at 01:43 AM
The past drug user business model - 1. have a history of drugs at a young age 2. never discuss religion, this doesn't fit will in the school speaches. 3. Be fit to speak today, no relapse. What a joke.
East side February 08, 2012 at 01:45 AM
This yo yo got caught by the cops in the D&D parking lot just down the road from the high school drunk and on all kinds of drugs. He should not be looked at in such a positive light. In addition, what about his family, you never hear about how he left his wife with the kids alone on the west coast while he was out here smoking it up and doing other prep speach activities.
portsmouth teen February 08, 2012 at 07:10 PM
East side learn how to spell speech in English class


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »