Since 2009, Chris Herren has spoken to over 1 million students and community members, sparking honest discussions on the topics of substance use disorder and wellness. Now 10 years sober, Chris is continuing to share his story nationally with a renewed focus on prevention education and challenging audiences to rethink how we look at the disease of addiction, changing the focus from the last day to the first.
“The focus oftentimes is about the worst day when it comes to speaking about addiction and not the first day. Kids need to understand how this begins rather than how it ends. Prevention starts on the first day.”
Below are a sampling of student-produced stories, video features and talks that highlight Chris’s path to recovery, his mission to help just one and the impact of his message.
Path Foundation, VA
Shawnee High School, Medford, NJ
The Chris Herren Story: Fresno State University
Note To Self: CBS Morning News
UMass Amherst TEDx
At a recent student assembly, Chris spoke to a high school of 486 students. What happened after the presentation demonstrates the need to bring impactful presentations on the topics of substance use and wellness into schools and communities to start a conversation and provide a safe place to express their emotions.
- 12 students left the assembly to get help from counselors.
- 5 students e-mailed Chris Herren and the student outreach team for assistance; 2 high risk.
- 387 students wrote reflections.
- 50 students shared that a family member or friend has a significant substance use problem.
- 10 students shared that a family member or friend had died due to overdose/complications from substance use disorder.
Since the presentation, the school has adopted a campaign around Chris’s message of being a “Pro At You” and will share student reflections through the year in the hope of keeping the conversation going.
The Student Perspective: Read excerpts from a Letter to the Editor that a high school senior wrote sharing her thoughts on the impact of the Chris Herren Presentation.