Ex Heroin Junkie Uses Running To Fight Addiction

Jon Kissel has used running to recover from addiction. Photo: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Jon Kissel has used running to recover from addiction. Photo: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

He’s taking part in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Marathon.

Jon Kissel doesn’t remember much about the night of March 28, 2009. Passersby found him unconscious; he had overdosed on heroin. They called the police. When the EMTs arrived, he had no pulse. A shot of Narcan brought him back from the edge. That night, he had left a dealers house with 192 bags of heroin in his pockets.

“I got to that point … I don’t know how I really got to that point, to be honest with you,” Kissel now admits.

Kissel went to jail for his crime, serving a 45-day sentence. His father was diagnosed with cancer when he was there.

But things changed for him when he was at the Cove Forge rehab facility. There, he discovered a nature trail that was 1.5 miles long. Everyone else walked it, but Kissel wanted to run.

His love affair with running had begun.

After leaving the rehab facility, Kissel kept running. He built up his endurance and ran the Harrisburg Marathon, finishing it in under four hours.

For More: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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