When the annual Boston Marathon takes place this year on April 21, one of the entrants will be a man named Chris Herren. His story would be no different than that of any other runner except for two important facts. It demonstrates that no segment of society is immune to substance addiction and recovery can result in a full, rewarding life.

As a teen, Herren was a promising basketball player but his college career was marked with failed drug tests due to marijuana and cocaine. After graduation he was drafted into the NBA but his drug use escalated to include painkillers and eventually heroin and meth.

After seven drug-related felonies, Herren appeared to be destined for a tragic end when he crashed his car after an overdose of heroin. Paramedics at the scene said he had actually been dead for 30 seconds.

Support from friends prompted Herren to enter an extended treatment program. He’s been substance-free since August 1, 2008 and has devoted his time and energy to raising public awareness regarding the dangers of substance abuse and offering a helping hand to those in need.

His efforts are channeled through two organizations he founded. The Herren Project has a mission to “provide assistance in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety” through educational resources and mentoring programs. Hoop Dreams nurtures young basketball players with camps, clinics and one-on-one training.

When a friend challenged Herren to represent his charity in the Boston Marathon, it appealed to his competitive spirit. His team includes three other recovering addicts and together they’ve raised nearly $35,000 in donations.

Chris Herren’s story demonstrates the power of second chances. It’s the same positive spirit found at Transitions Recovery in Miami. Our alcohol and drug treatment programs offer support systems tailored to your individual needs. Take the first step toward your second chance by calling 800-298-1783.