Ex-NBA Player Talks About His Drug Addiction
Ex-Boston Celtics player Chris Herren recently spoke to an audience at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland about his personal struggle with drug addiction and his recovery. He brought to light the fact that anyone can fall victim to addiction, even the most prominent and promising young athletes who seem to have it all together.
Herren was, at one point, his town’s biggest basketball star, who dreamed of going to the NBA – a goal he did achieve. However, like so many addicts, while he was rising in stardom, he was also dropping to rock bottom personally. Ultimately, he ended up driving his basketball career into the ground by becoming addicted to a variety of drugs including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and painkillers.
Drug Addiction and Success Coexists, Temporarily
To an outsider, it might seem difficult to understand how a professional athlete can be the same person who crashes into a utility pole after overdosing on heroin and being legally dead for almost a minute. To people in and around addiction, the story is way too familiar. As a matter of fact, addicts are often over-achieving people who seem to get success with ease and love to climb their way to the top. Some argue that the passion and overzealous tendencies are what drive them to become such hardcore drug addicts.
To the addict and their family, this intensity is crushing. Things can be going great and to everyone looking in seem at ease and successful. The addict uses this positivity as another reason to get high because it is a vicious cycle where the addict starts believing they won’t have the same level of success if they are sober.
It is so important for parents and families to know about addiction because the truth is that everyone is at risk. Even the most prominent and promising students can fall victim, and it definitely doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with parenting skills, etc. Also – it is important not to immediately blame a children’s friends but instead to find out why your child is seeking drugs or alcohol in the first place.
It is also very important to talk to kids especially as they reach their high school years so that they know the dangers and know how devastating addiction could be to their entire future. Using stories like Herran’s is helpful because it shows a real-life example of someone that kids look up to falling to his knees.
There is Hope for Recovery
The positive message in Herran’s story is that recovery can be accomplished. He is currently going on eight years clean, and while he admits it is a daily struggle, there is nothing more rewarding to him. On sobriety and missing basketball, he says “The way I look at it, every single day I have to play in the biggest game of my life, and the reality is, I can’t lose this game. If I love one game, I might never come back.