Thursday, December 22, 2016

NBA Legend and Former Boston Celtic Chris Herren to Speak about Drug Addiction at St. Mary’s County Public Schools; Evening Session Open to the Public

Former Boston Celtic and NBA legend Chris Herren will be the featured speaker in local presentations on drug addiction during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, January 22-28, 2017.

In addition to student assemblies at Leonardtown High School, Great Mills High School, and Chopticon High School on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, and Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Herren will give a community presentation on January 24, 2017, at Leonardtown High School, doors open at 6:00 p.m. The evening presentation, beginning at 7 p.m., will be free and open to the public.

In 1999, Chris Herren realized a lifelong dream to play in the NBA when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. However, even before he began his professional career, he had a history of substance abuse. After his rookie year, Herren was traded to the Boston Celtics, and within a few years, he had lost it all. Over time, with a great effort, he was able to re-focus his life. Alcohol and drug-free since 2008, Herren has since become a noted addiction speaker.

In a very personal and raw presentation, Herren tells the brutally honest story of his descent into addiction, his remarkable recovery, and the new path that is allowing him to make a difference in others' lives. Now he travels the Country telling his poignant story in the hope that he will be able to reach just one person and save them from the effects of substance abuse. St. Mary’s County Public Schools, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services have partnered in bringing this inspiring event to our community.

"When the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office approached us with this, we recognized how important it is for our students to hear Chris Herren's message,” says Scott Smith, Superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools. “We need to seize any opportunity available to educate our students about the consequences of drug misuse and abuse. Chris Herren's story has an impact on his audience that will resonate for years to come. Our kids need to hear it, and I am confident Chris will get their attention."

“This program not only benefits students but their families as well,” adds Sheriff Tim Cameron. “This is a continuation of our prevention efforts in St. Mary's County and we are pleased to be able to add Chris Herren's intimate point of view to the ongoing conversation surrounding alcohol and drug abuse, and the impact it has on families.”

Nationally, young adults (age 18 to 25) are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHS stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs. In 2014, more than 1700 young adults died from prescription drug overdoses. And locally, 59% of middle and high school students have used alcohol in the last 30 days, with 20% before age 13, and 32% claim to be currently using.

“My day-to-day operation hinges upon partnerships such as the one the Sheriff’s Office enjoys with the Board of Education. We will continue our commitment to drug awareness and prevention which is why some of the funding for this event was made possible through monies seized from local drug dealers,” concluded Captain Daniel Alioto. “They are contributing to the problem and their ill-gotten proceeds should be a part of the solution.”

Register at www.reboundstory.eventbrite.com. For more information contact Jennifer Stone, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer at 240-256-4847.

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