Many times when Chris is asked to share his story and present to audiences which include middle and high school students, college students and athletes, professional teams and players, most enter the assembly thinking it is a “Drug Talk”. Although the message may include one man’s journey to sobriety from drugs and alcohol, it is more about the first day. It is about asking “Why do you need drugs and alcohol to change who you are?” It is about challenging yourself to dig deep, share your struggle, ask for help and know it is ok to change.
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. #Making a Difference