He once was running marathons, but now he's running his life addiction free

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - Dick Beardsley spent years battling personal demons that led him to forge prescriptions for opioids, bouncing from doctor to doctor to feed his addiction. Often taking up to 80 pills a day. He said he is surprised to be alive. He now spend his time speaking to the public on this nationwide issue.

Beardsley was once a world-class marathon runner. His love for the sport began in high school. He later won the first London Marathon in 1981 and took second place in the 1982 Boston Marathon. After a series of life threatening accidents he was hospitalized and found himself addicted to prescription pain killers.

"I could justify every pill I took because oh I've still got a little ache or pain here and a little ache and pain there. When you become addicted to this stuff you can justify every time you use," says Dick Beardsley a recovering addict

During one of his hospital stays, he was introduced to demerol for the pain. Immediately he says a warm, fuzzy feeling hit his brain and he was hooked. He spent years chasing that high. Beardsley says that throughout the years, the sigma of drug addiction has remained a controversy.

"You tell somebody that you've got cancer or a heart disease, people jump through hoops to help you. You tell them you're a drug addict, they look at you like you're a piece of dirt," says Beardsley.

Beardsley says the key to getting sober is to first admit you have a problem. He denied his addiction for months and this only hurt him in the long run.

"Don't be ashamed to ask for help. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. The problem is when we don't ask for help and you can get better you can get your life back and it can be better than ever before," says Beardsley.

If you or someone you know is battling a drug addiction you can reach out to the Care Campus in Rapid City at 605-391-4863.