Dear Friends and Family,
In honor of my 17 year old son Drew, who is currently in recovery from substance use disorder, I am proud to announce that I will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon. Over the next few months, I will be raising money to support the Herren Project which is dedicated to providing resources for people with substance use disorder and their families.
Here’s my story:
Last January, my wife Melissa and I discovered that our son had started down a dangerous road of using marijuana. Despite our numerous efforts to help him quit, within a few months, we barely recognized him. Suffice to say, he was a mess physically and emotionally. He vacillated between periods of complete disinterest in life and periods of anger, resentment and disrespect. All the while, however, he was always on the chase for more marijuana. Even in the face of our threats and punishments, his use of pot increased to a point which he/we could not control. We needed a strong intervention and reached out to our friend Lori McCarthy, Director of Herren Wellness Center. Within two weeks, the Herrens and Lori agreed to help Drew at their Jacob Hill property in Seekonk, MA. Drew was the first minor to have been admitted to their program. After 67 days at Herren Wellness, our Drew came back to us. Drew continues to work on himself each and every day. We are so fortunate and privileged to have found this place and these incredible people. Our love and admiration for everything Herren continues to grow each day of Drew’s recovery.
All this said, I am now committed now to helping others receive the care that is needed to overcome this insidious disease. I run in the hopes that another family can benefit from the Herren magic like we did and I hope you will consider contributing to the incredible Herren Project foundation.
With each training challenge, I will remind myself of the strength it took Drew to face his demons at such a young age. I will also remind myself of the love and care that Drew is still receiving from Herren teams.
Here is Drew's story:
In April 2018, my Freshman year of high school, I smoked weed for the first time, not knowing where it would lead me. At the time, I thought it was just a fun thing to do with my friends. I thought we were all being stupid teenagers. I viewed this as a one time thing and didn’t plan on doing it again. A couple of weeks later I bought 4 joints for 40 dollars. I needed to scrape together some money, so I went into my Dad's dresser drawer, found a green tin Christmas box and stole 100 dollars from it. A year later, I was smoking multiple times a day. I knew I had a problem, but I was not willing to combat it. Once I realized I had a problem my initial thought was, ‘it’s only weed, it’s not like it’s a narcotic.’ I didn’t know life without marijuana and was constantly high. Even after having two interventions with Herren Director, Lori McCarthy, I still didn’t want to stop. Finally, my Mom and Dad decided to take action and sent me to Herren Wellness on June 3, 2019. To be perfectly honest, my first month was a living hell. I didn’t want to completely give up my will or tell the truth to anybody. I was still stealing from people and didn’t care about anybody else but myself. It wasn’t until Chris Herren showed me how life really worked and how much trouble I could have gotten in if I continued down my path of destruction. I decided it was time to make a change. I spent another month at Herren and began to be completely honest with everybody and developed relationships with the people there that I will never give up. I hope that my Dad can raise awareness for substance abuse to not only adults but to kids like me as well. I would like to thank my family, my friends at Herren, Emily, Liz, Nick, Chris, Heather and Lori for helping me find my authentic self again.
While it hasn't been a straight road to recovery, every day we make a bit of progress with the lessons we have learned from The Herren Team. With each step during the marathon, I will be thinking of Drew and how proud I am that he is my son. Together we run. Together we recover.
Herren Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established in 2011 by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren. Together we recover...as we support, inspire & empower those affected by substance use disorder. www,herrenproject.org