Former Celtics Star Shares Drug Addiction Woes

Chris Herren

Chris Herren, once a basketball legend, warns students to stay clear of drugs

Chris Herren was a 1994 McDonald’s All-American from the Fall River, MA high school basketball team, who went on to play for Boston College and the Boston Celtics.

Unfortunately, his basketball potential was cut short by rampant drug use throughout his career. While playing for the Boston Celtics, Herren started to use painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. In December 2004, Herren was charged with possession of heroin in the parking lot of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Upon returning from playing overseas, Herren started to purchase and use crystal meth. In Fall River, Massachusetts, Herren overdosed on heroin and crashed into a utility pole. According to paramedics, he had been dead for thirty seconds.

Finally in April of 2008 Herren became sober, and since then has been speaking to audiences like the one at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey about his struggles with drugs, and urging them to stay clean.

Jack Walsh, chairman of the Municipal Alliance which helped sponsor Herren’s talk reflected on the follow-up that’s needed.

“Trying to talk about drugs and alcohol is very difficult with parents because there’s a lot of deniability,” Walsh said. “One way to do it is to get a good person like Chris, who’s got a big name, to come in and get the people in the community involved.

“It’s an epidemic now,” he continued. “We all have problems with it. I think a lot of people came here tonight because there’s fear because they know it’s around, and they wonder, ‘Is it in my family? How can I talk to people?’ Some people have it in their family and don’t acknowledge it because it’s embarrassing.”

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To read more about how Chris Herren is trying to reach out to students and local communities after his long struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, please visit

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