Sharp Needle

A memoir by Jack Kelly


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Sharp Needle is an autobiographical account of Jack Kelly’s tragic spiral into heroin addiction, recovery, and running for office in the cutthroat world of Boston politics. In the late 1990’s, Jack was a member of a premier high school hockey team. But after sustaining a shoulder injury that required surgery, Jack was prescribed opiate pain medication and became addicted. At this exact time, the powerful and destructive opiate OxyContin was introduced onto the market. Quickly, Jack descended into the sordid life of heroin that ultimately led to homelessness and the loss of his family. 

At the age of 22, Jack found recovery and battled his way back. He began the lengthy process of rebuilding his shattered life and regaining trust of his loved ones. After establishing a solid foundation in recovery, Jack became a prominent voice in the recovery movement and has helped lead the fight against the opiate epidemic ravaging the American landscape. This activism propelled Jack to run for political office in 2013, where he was endorsed by the Boston Globe and garnered over 23,000 votes.

Sharp Needle offers a detailed and at times, uncomfortable front seat into the dark side of heroin addiction. It's a gripping, firsthand account of how the opiate epidemic began. More importantly, through the intimate eyes of Jack, we see his painful perseverance, transformation, and hope. 

Jack’s story proves that not only can people recover from heroin addiction, but they can thrive. This book will help reduce stigma while offering answers to why. Sharp Needle is a must read for any parent, policy maker, or person seeking recovery and maintaining it.