By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – The opioid epidemic is claiming lives each day. The numbers are staggering and there has been no perfect solution.

But one group thinks the answer comes in something laced: sneakers.

More: In Their Shoes

Every Thursday night and Saturday morning, the Bulldogs Running Club comes together for a type of support a perfectly fitted shoe doesn’t give.

The Bulldogs believe in fighting drug addiction with wellness and exercise.

Mike Ferrullo founded the club in October. He used to be an addict. That was 40 years and 10 marathons ago. He says that running saved him.

“I was really able to find out who I was. That I was not just an addict, hopeless and helpless. I could become what I call a ‘warrior,'” Ferrullo said.

“The Bulldogs are made up of people in recovery, people whose lives have been affected by addiction and by volunteers. No one is told who’s who.”

But some runners like Matt Fein want to share their stories.

“Opioids, alcohol, I was pretty much into anything that’s out there,” he said.

Fein is several years clean.

“I was a runner in high school and then there was a period of time that I was definitely not running” says Fein, with a laugh.

“Definitely not running” is a polite way to describe Will Diamond’s darkest days.

“The Bulldogs have just been a huge part of believing in myself and feeling comfortable in my own skin. Bulldogs all the way,” says Diamond.

Most of the Bulldogs are training for a race. For Fein it’s a half marathon.

Diamond has his sights on the Boston Marathon.

He’ll give it a shot next year. He’s seen heartbreak. Now it’s time to see Heartbreak Hill.

For more information on the Boston Bulldogs Running Club, visit the group’s website.

David Wade

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