He began taking painkillers after a near-fatal farming accident.
Most people know about the marathon-champion side of Dick Beardsley. After all, he may be one of the best American long-distance runners ever. And who could forget his famous “Duel in the Sun” at the 1982 Boston Marathon against Alberto Salazar?
But there’s more to Beardsley–a lot more.
Now retired from competitive running, Beardsley tours the country as a motivational speaker. As a child, he grew up in difficult circumstances.
“My mom and dad were both alcoholic, there was no physical abuse, but there was a lot of verbal abuse and then later physical abuse between my mom and dad when they were drinking,” he recalls.
However, the marathon great had his own struggles with addiction: painkillers. He began taking them after a horrendous farm accident that nearly killed him.
“I started taking these pills for more than the surgeries. I had been had thinking it would make the problems go away, but it made it worse and then I just go into a free fall,” Beardsley said. His addiction finally caught up with him when he was arrested for writing his own prescriptions.
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