By: Megan Roche
Darren Prince, Livingston High School Class of 1988, was finally able to return home to his alma mater on April 4 to share his powerful story of addiction, reaching the top of his career, while losing everything he loved because of drugs.
The auditorium at Livingston High School was packed with old classmates, Livingston Police Officers, Guidance Counselors, students, teachers, and members of the community. Having Prince speak was a longtime effort from many groups throughout town. His event on April 4 was organized by Livingston Vision 20/20 and co-sponsored by the Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee and Healthy Community Healthy Youth.
As Prince spoke to a wide audience, you could hear a pin drop. From his early youth collecting baseball cards to becoming involved in the sports and entertainment industry, Prince shared his harrowing story of addiction and how even at the pinnacle of his career, his physical and mental health were in major crisis.
“I know we’re going to change and save at least one life in the room this evening of and that’s what it’s about.” Prince shared in a Facebook post.
In his book, Aiming High, Prince shares in detail his memories from when he was sick. However, he also tells the tale of how once he hit rock bottom, he rose back to the top. Often giving credit to a spiritual connection, Prince has found solace and help from his spiritual brothers and sisters.
After Prince’s talk, questions came from the audience from both young and old. Many youths were curious about Prince’s experiences while in detox and recovery. Parents and community members were curious about Prince’s stance on the effort to legalize marijuana and the opioid epidemic.
Phyllis Tait, a Livingston mom of two, attended the event to learn more about Prince and his story. As she awaited Prince to sign her book, she could be heard talking to many people about the importance of his message.
“The thing you’ll see most is ‘not my child’. Parents think they’ll be able to spot it when their kids are using drugs. I really appreciated his message about how he really hit rock bottom and found his spiritual guide. The spiritual anointing was really important.” Tait said.
Prince was emotional as he took the stage at Livingston High School. As the event was winding down, Prince could be seen hugging former classmates and teachers. The event was even attended by his mom, Andrea and sister, Stacey. His father, Martin, passed away in 2017.
“To bring it back home to Livingston High School where it all started for me 35 years ago, I can’t put into words. But if I can tell my broken, insecure, out of place and unconfident Darren Prince from back in 1984 one thing, that would be to speak up and ask for help and don’t be a person who has to put a drug or a substance in your system just to fit in and become someone you’re not for 23 years.”
Aiming High is available for purchase on Amazon. Prince also encourages anyone who has a problem to contact him at any time. His contact information can be found on www.officialdarrenprince.com