Former Celtics player, Chris Herren, shares his story of being released from the team for his drug addiction to heroin and he is now coming to Holliston High School on April 14th to educate the student body of the severity of addictions.
Recently, the Holliston community has been stunned with multiple deaths, some speculated to be due to heroin overdoses. It has hit Hollistonians hard. The school has been trying to get Chris Herren to come in for the last year and has finally succeeded.
“Across the country and across the state there has been increases in some drug related instances and some troubling ones,” said assistant principal Mr. Patrick Kelley. “Everyone who has seen him [Herren] has said how powerful his speeches are and the lasting impact he has and how he can make the presentation meaningful.”
Chris Herren tells his story of being addicted to an alarming amount of drugs, and how his career crumbled because of it. His whole purpose is to show kids what harmful effects drugs have. On a radio interview Herren had with Bill Littlefield, he was quoted saying “I said, ‘I’ll do [cocaine] once, and that one try lasted 14 years.”
“It is something that is important to make students aware of. Opiate addictions and the impact it can have on an individual’s life is a major concern and something we want students to be aware of and educated about,” said Mr. Kelley. “In addition he [Herren] is a speaker and has a powerful message and it’s something that’s been a concern in the state and nationally. We want to make sure we do our best to provide our students the best way to make informed decisions that are healthy,” he added when asked why the administration wanted to bring Chris in.
Although Holliston doesn’t see as many heroin addictions or users, surrounding towns are affected with the problem and Herren has visited Milford, Medfield, Hopedale, and other towns in the area.
Although school resource officer Bryan DiGiorgio doesn’t see a problem of heroin usage in the high school he still thinks, “ [Herren] will be very influential; kids will really step back and have more of an idea of what drug use can do to you. I don’t think it will be so much of a change, but his influence of a message. It’s not just outside, it’s everywhere.”
Officer DiGiorgio had nothing but good things to say about Herren. “He is an influential person and an eye opener… I think it is a huge plus to have him here. He is a very motivational speaker,” he said.
Junior Bridget Ghelli was asked her opinion on bringing a guest speaker in to talk about heroin addiction. She said, “I think it is good they did that because it shows the kids real life experiences and that its not just in New York or L.A. That it is happening and that you can overcome heroin addiction.”
Ghelli feels that heroin isn’t a big issue in the town but that it is becoming an issue slowly. Regardless, she thinks that our school is handling the situation well and “won’t just sweep it under the rug.”
The next steps for HHS following the assembly will be,“to talk about it in advisory period and that’s something that will be an ongoing conversation. A big piece is about awareness and directing students,” said Mr. Kelley.