Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established by former NBA basketball player, Chris Herren, that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction. Project Purple was launched to break the stigma of addiction, bring awareness to the dangers of substance abuse and shed light on effective treatment practices.
The Project Purple concept was developed when Chris spoke at a local high school in 2011 and the front row of students were wearing Purple shirts. After Chris shared his story, one of the purple shirts raised her hand and stood up to speak. As snickering and laughter could be heard throughout the auditorium, the student said “Thank you Mr. Herren for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.” Chris was captured by the courage it took to not only stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, but was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.
90% of addictions get their start in the teenage years. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org
In 2012, an estimated 9.3 million underage persons (aged 12 to 20) drank alcohol, including 5.9 million binge drinkers and 1.7 million heavy drinkers. – SAMHSA, 2012
In an average day 4,365 used an illicit drug for the first time – SAMHSA, 2010
Every day, more than 2,000 kids use a prescription medicine to get high for the first time. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org
1 in 4 Teens (5 million) report having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org
Of those kids who said they abused Rx medications, one in five (20 percent) has done so before age 14. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org
1 in 6 Teens has used a prescription drug in order to get high or change their mood. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org
One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the United States. – The Partnership at Drugfree.org