From left, Dr. Evan Miller (Sober Living By The Sea Clinical Director), Paige Willard (SLBTS Marketing Director), former pro basketball player Chris Herren and James Bailey (SLBTS Executive Director) were present for Herren's special Newport Beach visit Thursday.

From left, Dr. Evan Miller (Sober Living By The Sea Clinical Director), Paige Willard (SLBTS Marketing Director), former pro basketball player Chris Herren and James Bailey (SLBTS Executive Director) were present for Herren's special Newport Beach visit Thursday. (Courtesy of Betsy Roberts / April 5, 2013)

After more than four years of sobriety, Chris Herren has been talking about his past of a roller-coaster life and trying to help others who have had to deal with the struggles he faced.

Herren, a former NBA player, visited Newport Beach's Sober Living by the Sea addiction treatment programs Thursday to speak with clients in treatment and help raise awareness about addiction and recovery.

Herren was the subject of "Unguarded," a documentary from ESPN Films. The film showed everything from Herren's rise as a high school All-American to NBA player then to his tragic fall to drug addiction and alcoholism, and later to his rebirth. He was in Newport Beach to talk about that past.

Herren has been alcohol and drug-free since Aug. 1, 2008. He struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career with the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics. Herren, a Boston native who had a short stint at Fresno State, has since refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else, along with a mission to help others.

Herren visited Sober Living by the Sea's beachfront properties to share his story of hope with current clients, and listened to their struggles as well. Herren arrived in Newport Beach Wednesday night and attended a private dinner with 25 local addiction treatment specialists and therapists.

The visit was part of Herren's partnership with Sober Living by the Sea's parent company, CRC Health Group, known as one of the nation's largest providers of addiction treatment and behavioral health services.

"As I travel the United States speaking and sharing my story, each day I see first-hand the need for effective treatment programs," Herren said in a press release. "CRC Health Group offers a comprehensive network of treatment facilities and programs nationwide and I enjoy working with them to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with substance abuse."

— From staff reports