Recovering Addict Shares Before And After Pictures Of Face To Show Effects Of Drugs And Addiction

Photo: Facebook
before and after drug face
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Powerful.

Addiction is a powerful thing. If left untreated and ignored, it can completely take over someone's life to a point where it's their only priority. Family, friends, work, hobbies, and even getting a good meal come second to the next fix. 

It's a disease that tears families apart and leaves people for dead. And while it's easy to turn a blind eye to addicts and write it off as "not your problem," it's not something we can ignore. 

Even if it hurts, even if it's ugly, even if it's hard to look at, we have to pay attention. The more it's swept under the rug, the more powerful it gets. 

Enter Melissa Lee Matos. 

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Melissa is an addict, who's been proudly clean for a year and five months. In a post that has since gone viral — receiving over 50,000 shares and 35,000 likes — she shared photos of how she looked while she was in the depth of her addiction. 

"I have NEVER shared these before. I'm not sure I ever intended to. This is extremely hard for me in so many ways. However, too many people are dying. I have friends who need to see this. It goes beyond what my words can accomplish. This is by far, the most raw thing I have shared with the world. Please read. Please share."

Warning, the photos are unsettliing. 

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Though she doesn't state in her post exactly which drug she was on, the marks on her face, droopy eyelids and partially opened mouth are often common signs of a heroin addiction. Heroin addicts usually have what people describe as a "zombie look." 

Melissa wrote that this was how she looked while in active addiction. 

"This was what I looked like, daily, for years. This is what my husband dealt with. This is what my little girls walked in on. This is what my family and friends saw, on the rare occasions I left the house. I was SICK. I was DYING. I was so far gone I thought I could NEVER recover. I was so lost I couldn't imagine a life without using. I just wanted to die. I didn't realize I was hardly alive."

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Melissa, who calls the photos "images of a dead girl," pleads with people who are currently in active addiction to get help. She runs a Facebook page called "Recover Me" where she shares her story of addiction in hopes of inspiring others to get clean. 

"Look at these pictures. Images of a dead girl. A needle junkie with a habit so fierce she spent days and nights in a self-induced coma on her bathroom floor. A girl who would spend every cent on dope and forget she had kids to feed and take care of. A girl who lost every single thing she ever had. A girl who was so sick she thought she would never ever find a way out, until she did."

This is how Melissa looks today. Happy, healthy and clean. 

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The mom of two died more than once before realizing she no longer had to suffer. 

"I have now found life. I promise you, there is HOPE. There is recovery. There is freedom and serenity and you are worthy of it."

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