Chris Herren joins The Upside with Adam Finkelstein to talk about his mission, work and the impact on substance use and mental wellness in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Prayer is a big part of my of my program. I am a spiritual person. I believe in it and the benefits it has given me in my life. Prayer, meditation, exercise and proper nutrition. There is no perfection in this. Even though I am coming up on 12 years sober, I am not away from this and as a former athlete it was very important to me to have a structured recovery program, a structured wellness program. I tell people at my center that I could lock myself in a gym for 3 hours and shoot at a little rim, so why can’t I for 15 minutes a day meditate or why can’t I do 20 minutes of yoga or jump on a bike and cycle or do something to benefit me personally and benefit my mental health. Ultimately I removed drugs and alcohol from my life, but that doesn’t mean I am going to be healthy for the rest of my life or that doesn’t mean that my mental health will not suffer again. I am in constant vigilance of sustaining a healthy mindset…” – Chris Herren

Chris Herren was once a childhood basketball prodigy who battled addiction throughout a career that went from Durfee High School to the Boston Celtics. He’s been drug and alcohol free since 2008 and, in that time, has developed into one of the nation’s most recognizable speakers on issues of addiction and mental health while also building three organizations – Herren Talks, Herren Wellness, and Herren Project – dedicated to substance use prevention and recovery. In this conversation, Herren discusses the unique challenges and implications presented by the coronavirus, not just to those battling addiction but to so many others who are struggling with mental health right now.