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'There's No Hero in Heroin' and Raiders' Darren Waller host event to combat substance abuse

The 9th Annual Black Monday
Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 19:29:06-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 'There Is No Hero in Heroin' (TINHIH).

The phrase grabs your attention, as it was intended to.

It's an organization dedicated to ending Substance Use Disorder, a battle that Raiders Tight-end Darren Waller is all too familiar with.

Nine years ago, in February, the non-profit organization TINHIH was created out of tragedy. The original founder's son was using drugs and died from an overdose.

Each year, the organization TINHIH has hosted Black Monday, to serve as a reminder of the tumultuous fate for many substance abusers.

Footballer, Darren Waller says, he felt like his fate wasn't far from taking a terrible turn.

“The pills I was taking and heroin are essentially the same thing...“I was reaching for anything to make me feel good and that was something that I ended up with, and stuck with for a decade," said Waller.

It wasn't until his addiction became too much to bear, that he found himself looking for help.

“The hooks can get in so deep where you can’t just 'will' yourself out of it. It becomes a disease," said Waller.

Now Four-and-a-half years sober, Darren Waller is in a place where he says he can inspire others, like Artist and Raiders fan, Moses Fernandez.

“Hearing his story, in my family as well, we also have problems with addiction and drugs, so that definitely hit home with me. Same with Maxx Crosby those guys right there, are awesome guys," said Fernandez.

Max Crosby and Darren Waller, have a few things in common, the football field, and their past battles with addiction.

Raiders fan, Moses, was sought out by the Darren Waller Foundation and TINHIH after posting a work of art, a hand-painted Raiders jersey of Maxx Crosby.

Moses donated a one-of-a-kind custom Waller jersey to be raffled off at the Black Monday event. The jersey, a reminder, that your hero or heroine may not be far away.

“It’s a huge story and it definitely means a lot to me and I’m sure a lot of other people,“ said Fernandez.

Krista Hales, Board President for TINHIH says seeing someone like Darren Waller represent her organization is so special because it shows users, they are not alone.

“It shows that he’s real, and that he’s just one of us and I think that’s what I love most about Black Monday, is that we are all in that space together knowing that we all have some part of our story that connects us to someone else in the room," said Hales.

Waller and others say that the life lessons and experiences TINHIH brings will last forever.

“The character development that comes with being in recovery...a lot of people can benefit from it and it’s something that can really change your perspective and outlook on life if you’re willing to do that inner work. I feel like coming to an event like this and being involved with TINHIH, you can’t avoid that work. You’re gonna do it and it’s gonna change your life for the better," said Waller.

TINHIH holds it’s 9th Annual Black Monday event tonight a Central Church in Henderson from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Darren Waller Foundation or if you are battling with Substance Use Disorder and would like to contact There Is No Hero in Heroin , click on these links.