TUALATIN, Ore. – Local anti-substance abuse coalitions Tualatin Together and Tigard Turns the Tide are proud to bring former NBA player Chris Herren and the THP Project Purple Initiative to Tualatin and Tigard High Schools on March 5 and 6 with the generous support of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. Mr. Herren played for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics before losing his career to the disease of addiction. He is now a passionate advocate for sobriety and will speak to students at both schools about his career-long battle with drug use – which began in high school – and what it took to turn his life around.

Mr. Herren’s remarkable story was captured in the publication of the book, Basketball Junkie and the release of the Emmy-nominated ESPN Films documentary, Unguarded.

“It’s hard to get kids to pay attention to anti-substance abuse messages, but we have to do everything we can,” said Cyndy Hillier, Executive Director of Tualatin Together, a coalition of students, parents, and engaged community leaders who are dedicated to making Tualatin a safe and healthy place to grow up. “Chris Herren is one of those voices that can break through and make a difference in these kids’ lives, and we could not have brought him here without Regence.”

Kerry Bendel, Regence’s Chief Pharmacy Officer, said Regence was delighted to sponsor the event to enable Mr. Herren to tell his story. “High schoolers face incredible pressures in their daily lives: academic, athletic, social. Substance abuse is not a way to cope, and it takes a lot of guts to say no. Regence is committed to addressing the national epidemic of opioid abuse in any way possible, and we are excited to work with community groups like Tualatin Together and Tigard Turns the Tide that are supporting students with what they need to make healthy decisions for a lifetime.”

Chris Herren’s appearance will serve as the kick-off for both schools “Going Purple,” or committing to the principles of the THP Project Purple Initiative, which are to create awareness about the epidemic of substance use and encourage teens to stand up to drugs and alcohol.

Mr. Herren will speak at two student assemblies:

  • Tigard High School on Monday, March 5 at 1:30 pm.
  • Tualatin High School on Tuesday, March 6 at 9 am.

The community is also invited to hear him speak at 7 pm, Monday, March 5, at Tualatin High School. This event is FREE and appropriate for children middle school aged and older. Register for a spot at http://chrisherrenlive.eventbrite.com.


Tualatin Together & Tigard Turns the Tide

Tualatin Together and Tigard Turns the Tide are diverse, locally grown, state and federally funded coalitions, working together to raise awareness, provide education and advocate for the health and safety of the youth in their communities. They are dedicated to helping Tigard and Tualatin youth thrive by working to reduce the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. For more information about Tualatin Together, visit tualatintogether.com. For more information about Tigard Turns the Tide, visit tigardturnsthetide.org.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been serving Oregonians since 1941 and now provides approximately 750,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.

THP Project Purple Initiative

THP Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety, educational programs and resources to increase awareness on the signs of addiction and bring hope for a better tomorrow.