A former pro basketball player is bringing his personal story of drug addiction and recovery to Vermont.
Chris Herren achieved the dreams of many young aspiring athletes by jumping from star high school basketball player, to highly touted college prospect, and eventually the Shangri-la of the NBA as a player with the Denver Nuggets and then the Boston Celtics.
But a drug and alcohol addiction turned that dream turned into a nightmare. Herren’s rise and fall from grace was chronicled in the book, "Fall River Dreams."
Herren has since gone on to launch a basketball development company called "Hoop Dreams", and the Herren Project, which helps people struggling with addiction.
He says hiding his prescription drug problem even while undergong mandatory drug testing in the NBA wasn’t difficult, "I had surgery with the Celtics and my drug of choice was Oxycontin at the time so pain killers were something that even if they tested me for I would have in my system for rotator cuff surgery."
Herren says his low point came during a relapse after the birth of his third child. He was told to end all contact with his family after he returned to drugs, which included heroin, and that’s when he says he committed fully to rehab. Herren says he still watches NBA games, and despite forfeiting his pro hoop dreams, doesn’t regret what he went through, "I still watch, I don’t regret the past. I regret my kids had to grow through, not what I had to go through, recovery has been an amazing journey, it’s given me a certain sense of peace..I’m grateful."
Chris Herren will be speaking on Saturday April 14th in Burlington, as a benefit for Dismas House of Vermont.