Last night Chris Herren came to speak at the local church and the community was invited. It was a free event and the high school students from our school district were all asked to attend. For my son, the teacher’s were offering incentives such as bonus points and no homework for the night if they attended the event. There were tons of people there and traffic was horrible as they didn’t have anyone directing traffic and many of the drivers were students. Once we got inside the church, there were school officials with scanners that were scanning the school id’s so they could grab a list of the students that attended the event.
Chris Herren ia a former professional basketball player who grew up playing basketball in Fall River, MA and later played in the NBA. He told his story of how the pressure to perform on the court and family life drew him into drinking with his friends in their basements as they were growing up. The “safe drinking” as they called it, since it was done in a basement where no one was out driving, turned into much more. Chris Herron grew addicted to Heroine and is now telling his story in hopes of helping others. He reached out to parents to tell us that we should keep our children from drinking as long as possible, even if we think it’s ok for them to drink at home. He says it’s the little things like the basement get togethers allowed by the “cool parents” that get kids started down the wrong path. He said that out of the group of kids that he drank with in his weekend basement parties, seven of those kids, including himself ended up with addictions. Don’t let this happen in your home, even if you were allowed to do this as a kid and you feel it’s ok because you turned out ok without any addictions. Many kids die due to substance abuse. Play an active role in your child’s social life just as you do in their academic and sports life.
Chris Herren said that if your child becomes involved in alcohol or drugs, don’t yell and push about who they bought it from, instead ask them “Why.” Ask them why they can’t have fun with their friends without resorting to drugs or alcohol in order to get away from who they really are. If you have a chance to listen to Chris Herren speak, I strongly suggest that you make the point to attend. You never know when you will need the advice that Chris Herren is giving. If your family is in need of help for these issues, be sure to check into The Herren Project, which is also called Project Purple.
Photo Credit: www.hcdevilsadvocate.com