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Chris Herren Explains The Effects Of Drug Abuse

Chris-Herren-Effects-Of-Drug-AbuseThe effects of drug abuse on society are more than noticeable.  Professional basketball player Chris Herren has an all-too-personal understanding of substance use disorders due to his own experience with drug addiction.

Chris Herren Talks Personal Effects of Drug Abuse

Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in his early years of high school, Chris Herren’s addictive behaviors began progressing which later turned to cocaine use by college.  It wasn’t long after that Herren took matters up a notch by trying other drugs like narcotics.  As his disease escalated, he became addicted to OxyContin.  Seven years later, he swapped out his obsession with painkillers for a more affordable heroin addiction that transcended into an alleged $12,000 a month habit.  “I never imagined by taking one painkiller, it would lead to 8 years on heroin,” Herren expressed.  “That wasn’t the plan.”  A downward spiral deeper into the pit of addiction brought Herren to reach out for help from his wife Helen and others for support.  After receiving treatment, the man has successfully remained sober since 2008 and has roamed the country to share his experience, strength, and hope.  “You always have that fear of falling back and you have to be aware of that,” Herren said, putting emphasis on how crucial it is to remain vigilant in recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Talking About the Effects of Drug Abuse

Herren described why it was imperative to make others aware of the effects of drug abuse as a preventative measure. “I think every kid, you know, being up in front of kids all out across the country speaking, I think it’s important to ask them, ‘How come on Friday and Saturday nights you have to change yourself?’  Why aren’t you good enough being yourself at 14? 16?” he said. When Herren was asked why he thought young children were “susceptible” to drug abuse and whether it was due to a result of societal peer pressure, self-medicating, or trying to mingle with others, he said that there could be a number of different reasons behind why individuals first experiment with drugs.  He did add, “I think peer pressure plays a big part.  Studies show that most kids are not in high school but the kids who are – are the loud voice.” Psychiatrist Julie Holland, who deals specifically in psychopharmacology, was in agreement with Herren and direct in stating that it’s never too early to discuss substance use disorders. “If a kid can ask a question, they can get an answer,” she began.  “So any time it’s coming up, if they’re learning it at school, come home with information, or misinformation… that’s when you sit down and talk.”  This supports the idea that early preventative measures can be beneficial because accurate information is given to the person so that they can form better judgement when they are faced with potential decisions regarding the use of drugs further down the road in life.  Holland was keen on the fact that a discussion about the effects of drug abuse will go best and prove most effective if both parties are communicable, clear-minded, and can remain teachable.  She added as a pointer, “If you’re going to bring it up, you really need to make sure it’s a teachable moment and they’re in a good place to hear what you have to say.  I think that’s crucial.”

Discussing the effects of drug abuse plays an important role as a way to prevent others from first experimenting with drugs which could ultimately lead to repetitive use and addiction.  It’s vital to be aware of the dangers that drugs pose — not just about the end result that addiction bring, but about how it starts.

Are you in the midst of active addiction or struggling with a substance use disorder of some type?  Contact The Watershed, with facilities in Florida and Texas, for help today!




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