While playing professional ball in the NBA, he was spending over $20,000 on prescription painkillers every month. In 2004, Chris overdosed on heroin in his hometown of Fall River and crashed his car into a utility pole. The paramedics that responded to the scene noted that he had been dead for 30 full seconds before he was resuscitated. Even this near-death experience wasn’t enough to beat his addiction. In December 2007, Chris was charged with heroin possession in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot in Rhode Island. This was nearly the end of the road for him and he entered a series of inpatient treatment programs in 2008.
Recovery wasn’t an easy process for Chris. He attended several intensive inpatient treatment facilities, and officially got clean and sober on August 1st, 2008. Herren co-wrote a book with Bill Reynolds (a columnist for the Providence Journal) entitled “Basketball Junkie.” The story detailed his own personal struggles with professional sports and drug addiction. He has never shied away from the spotlight when it comes to his recovery, and he put out a documentary shortly after his book hit the stands. Professional athletes are often seen as heroes in the eyes of their fans and admitting their humanity by way of struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction can tarnish their reputations. However, Chris remains a hero in the eyes of the American public. Is this because he went on to have a prolific career, make lots of money and win numerous NBA Championships? No. It’s because he was honest about his issues and because he dedicated his life to help improving the lives of others.