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November 28, 2017

Former NBA player will discuss addiction, recovery

Chris Herren will speak at a free, public forum Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Fauquier High School auditorium.
Former pro basketball player Chris Herren will discuss his drug addition and recovery during a public forum Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Fauquier High School auditorium.

The PATH Foundation and the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County will host the free event, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“Organized for parents, grandparents and guardians, the event will also offer local experts and resources to offer guidance to keep your family safe,” PATH spokeswoman Amy Petty said.
 
Mr. Herren, a basketball legend from Fall River, Mass., dreamt of one day playing for his hometown team, the Boston Celtics. An All-American, he broke high school scoring records, got recruited by top colleges, featured in Sports Illustrated and became the focus of an acclaimed book, Fall River Dreams.

Video at bottom of story

Mr. Herren, 42, realized his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA when the Denver Nuggets drafted him in 1999. He got traded to the Boston Celtics after his rookie season but lost it all because of substance abuse.
 
Alcohol and drug-free since Aug. 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else. Mr. Herren shares his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in a memoir, Basketball Junkie, as well as in numerous interviews throughout the Emmy nominated ESPN Films documentary, Unguarded.
 
In September, he spoke to students at Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty high schools. The community-wide event Nov. 28 will give families the chance to hear his perspective on issues facing young people and will offer suggestions on how to help teens avoid devastating issues. 
 
“We were really blown away by the impact Chris had in his talks with the area high schools,” PATH President/CEO Christy Connolly, said. “His message is so important for them to hear, especially as we all too often learn of another family affected by addiction. We wanted parents to have the same opportunity to hear Chris’s message.”
 
The PATH Foundation also will host his upcoming appearances at Rappahannock County, Eastern View and Culpeper County high schools.  He will return in January for assemblies at Highland School and Wakefield School.

Sallie Morgan, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County, cited results of the PRIDE survey that measured middle and high school students’ alcohol and drug use, as well as depression and anxiety, as evidence of the need for this type of event.

“We’re seeing more and more instances where teens are unprepared to handle the variety of pressures facing them today,” Ms. Morgan said. “It’s so important for parents to really understand how to talk to their children and help them avoid the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.”

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