Against All Hope: Former NBA Star Chris Herren on Addiction, Sobriety & Service
This is one of the most powerful conversations on the subject of addiction and redemption I’ve been honored to host in the eleven-year history of this show.
Left untreated, addiction decimates everything in its path. I’ve lived through it. I’ve borne witness to its wrath in countless others. And I’ve walked the wreckage it inevitably reaps. But my story pales in comparison to what Chris Herren has endured—and survived to now share in service of helping others.
Lauded as one of the greatest basketball players of his generation before he even graduated high school, Chris graced the cover of Sports Illustrated during his freshman year playing point guard for Boston College. Ousted courtesy of his outsized partying led him west to Fresno State, where he flourished for a flash under legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian, leading to stints in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics. It didn’t last (it never does) so he took his game across the European and Asian circuits, a ticking time-bomb awaiting detonation.
Basketball simply couldn’t compete with alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. So it wasn’t long before Chris’ nightmare turned him into into roadkill—an overdose he barely survived that would, inelegantly and eventually, lead to a rebirth and redemption.
What has transpired in the 14 years since Chris got sober is a remarkable, phoenix-like journey of recovery and redemption that has transformed his life from utterly craven to one of extraordinary purpose, meaning, and selfless service as a leading voice on the topic of substance use prevention.
Note: This conversation traverses difficult emotional terrain. If you are struggling, please raise your hand and reach out for help. You can find information about Alcoholics Anonymous (and meetings near you) at AA.org and Narcotics Anonymous at NA.org. You can also contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. If you are experiencing suicidal ideation, know you’re not alone. I encourage you to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1(800) 273-TALK.
If you are suffering from some form of addiction, this episode is a must-listen. Even if you’re not an addict, I encourage you to embrace this conversation as a means to better understand the affliction, as chances are you probably know someone in need of help.
Faherty Brand: FahertyBrand.com/RICHROLL
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