Addiction can take a toll of anyone’s life including those who are famous athletes. One of them is former basketball player Chris Herren who suffered addiction for more than a decade. Herren broke the stigma of addiction by creating a foundation to raise more awareness to the dangers as well as treatment options for those who need help.
Herren was considered a basketball legend in his hometown of Falls River, Massachusetts. Unfortunately since 2011, he has had seven drug-related felonies. While playing for Boston College, he failed two drug tests and another at Fresno State. While he was playing for the Boston Celtics, he did cocaine, vicodin, and heroin. In 2004, he was charged with heroin possession outside a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. In 2006, reality hit Herren hard when he overdosed on heroin and was found unconscious in his car and stopped breathing for thirty seconds. He decided that he needed to go into treatment but he needed help with the cost. NBA alumnus Chris Mullin and his wife helped him with the cost of rehab and he became clean in 2008.
In 2011, Herren wanted to help others who were struggling with addiction just like he did so he founded The Herren Project to increase awareness and treatment of substance abuse. He felt it was important for recovering addicts to learn about treatment, education, and mentoring. His program recruits social workers to be matched with addicts to help them in any way they can. So far, his foundation has helped a lot of people such as Susan Duffy who got help for her two sons struggling with addiction in 2015.
In Herren’s foundation, each family is assigned a licensed clinical social worker to support their patient for as long as necessary. There are also virtual family support groups on computers and mobile devices. James Franchek is using The Herren Project as a way to raise awareness to substance abuse and advocate better treatment since he lost his 24 year-old daughter to heroin overdose in 2016. Herren hopes for a younger generation to continue his work. In 2015, he launched “Project Purple” to encourage students to embrace the message of education and awareness. The program has reached 885,000 adolescents. Herren decided to use what he learned in recovery to help others on the same journey. More celebrities should use their power to do great things for addiction recovery.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.