Runners helping drug addicts run to recovery - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Runners helping drug addicts run to recovery

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some former Kentuckiana drug addicts are getting a different kind of high these days.

They're running toward their recovery. It is part of a program called Run Possible.

It matches runners with recovering drug addicts at Wayside Christian Mission.

The goal is to empower them into taking recovery into their own hands.

Kristen Hardiman and Babs Johnson start their run with the Lord's prayer:

"Give us this day our daily bread."

"Okay, should we walk? Lets do it," said Johnson, with Run Possible.

Johnson is an avid runner. "I don't know a lot about addition because I have never battled it," she said.

And Hardiman is a recovering drug addict. "Meth was my drug of choice," she said.

Hardiman is in a drug treatment program at Wayside Christian Mission. "I was introduced to it when I was 18 years old, and I've done it ever since," said Hardiman.

The ladies come from different backgrounds, but are connected through a program called runPossible, which matches local runners with residents at Wayside for weekly walks, runs and fitness classes.

"We walk with a purpose, we are out there to meet mileage and time, but we're also there to share stories," said Johnson

The goal is to empower the ladies to take their recovery and fitness into their own hands.

The partnership started in May and so far it seems to be working.

"You can tell that they want to get better, they're here for a reason and they enjoy the morning walks," Johnson said.

Hardiman admits her drug high was deadly but hard to beat. "When I was using meth ... well, I felt like I was more focused, I felt like I had more energy and I could get more things done throughout the day."

But these days, she has replaced the drug high with a runners high. "And then with your run, it's like your adrenaline gets going and that's like natural energy, energy I got from drugs, you'd come down pretty hard...and this energy is different, last throughout the day," said Hardiman.

Right now, the runners are only working with recovering addicts at Wayside, but the goal is to eventually reach out to other organizations that have drug treatment programs.

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