He had all the makings to become the face of Boston Sports, but something was holding him back – drugs.
Chris Herren grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, which in the past, was a town filled with productivity and hope. As the years passed, however, Fall River quickly took on the likes of drug dealers, homeless people, addicts and unemployed individuals. As he got older, Herren made a name for himself as a talented basketball player, and was drafted to the NBA right out of college. He would only spend seven years as a professional (including playing for his home team, The Boston Celtics) before he would have to bow out of the game to get sober.
Herren had failed numerous drug tests, was convicted of many different felonies, and was quickly spiraling out of control. His pick of the poison was heroin, but he also began abusing prescription drugs such as OxyContin. He was even pronounced dead for 30 seconds after wrapping his car around a utility pole while under the influence of heroin.
It didn’t take long for Herren to reach out for help. His recovery has been widely documented, and he has now currently been sober since August 1st, 2008. While his story of recovery is impressive, it is what he is doing now that is even more amazing.
This year, Boston will be holding its world-renowned Marathon, despite the terrorist attacks that occurred nearly one year ago. Herren, along with three team members and the support of his program, The Herren Project, will be running the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon in April to raise awareness for addiction recovery. He is also setting out to raise $25,000 to contribute to his cause.
When interviewed about his upcoming plans to run Boston Marathon to raise awareness for recovery, Herren said, “there are a lot of people out there who feel that not only can they not get sober, but they can’t achieve anything. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
While it is expected that the 2014 Boston Marathon will be widely focused on the resiliency of one of the greatest cities in the nation, Herren’s story will likely shine as well. Raising awareness about addiction recovery has been, and continues to be, one of the best and most effective ways to actively reduce the negative stigma that has been continually perpetuated in regards to both addiction and recovery.