Did you know that nearly 2.5 million people in the United States struggle with drug addiction? Although terrifying, addiction is very common in society as people become addicted to drugs for a variety of reasons ranging from high-pressure jobs to tragic childhoods and unhealthy relationships. But whatever the reason, a drug addiction is incredibly hard to get out off, especially without the right support from the people around you. [Continue reading below…]
However, as you can see from these incredible before and after photos compiled by Bored Panda, it’s far from impossible, and the rewards can be life-changing.
#1. 10 Years Clean From Crystal Meth
“19 Years old, I thought I was the most amazing person. I weighed about 100 pounds. I was a dick. I stole from my friends for drugs. I stole from my family for drugs. I lied. Cheated. Hurt very good people. I had no one left besides my step dad when I quit. No one believed me anymore. It was a very hard time. It’s been ten years and I am ready to leave the past, in the past. I am not an ex-addict. I am not in recovery. This fall I will walk up on stage and collect my BS in accountancy. I have accomplished so much from that person I was ten years ago. I am a whole, strong, and amazing person and I am damn proud of myself”.
#2. 4 Years Clean From Meth And Heroin
“Today (12/6/16) marks 4 years clean from heroin and meth. I was a terrible iv user and like most, I progressively got worse. On the left is me the day I was arrested 12-6-12 and coincidentally the day I finally surrendered to God! With the help of God, I am completing my BA and hope to one day be a prison minister. I have a beautiful 18-month-old and every day I thank God that I am not where I once was! Sobriety is possible.”
#3. Clean and sober for over three years
“Recovery for me exemplifies the promises coming true. The gift of family, and honesty between all of us, is truly better than what my life was even before I picked up a drink or a drug.”
#4. Two Years Clean
“This is 2 years after getting clean and staying clean. Never going back I have this little one to raise and be here for”.
#5. Clean From Cocaine And Heroin for over 6 years. Photographed Himself During The Years He Was Addicted
“When I first really started doing drugs, I felt it was enhancing my life – it just made everything sort of great. But I knew I was an addict when I started having to do it in the morning when I woke up. And that’s when I should’ve known to stop, but I didn’t. When you’re on drugs, you never think you’re going to be able to get back to where you were or anywhere close to living a normal life. And you can – not real easy, but you can. Things are never going to be the same, but it can be fulfilling and it can be enlightening and life-changing. It has been for me. My priorities are different now. Not that I was a bad or selfish person, but I think more of other people and I see humanity in a different way. I’m much more passionate about life.”
#6. Here Is What 826 Days Heroin Clean Looks Like
“On June 11th 2014 I went to jail for 36 days on a contempt charge. Without delving too deep I’ll just say that I was in a really abusive relationship that led to my daughter going to live with my mother. She is my whole world, so when that happened I fell into a deep depression and leaned to my abusive boyfriend for emotional support. His answer to making me feel better was heroin. After 8 months of daily use and a few half assed attempts at getting clean, I told the judge preceding over the guardianship case of my daughter that I had been using and that I needed help. He found me in contempt of court and put me in the county jail until he could find me a bed in a rehab. From there I went to the best rehab in my state. Recovery has been an uphill battle, but now I am at a point where it all just feels like a bad dream.”
#7. 4 Years and 4 Months Clean
#8. Six Months Meth And Heroin Clean
“Today, my life is different. And that’s all I could really hope for towards the end. Not a better life, because I didn’t feel like anything was ever going to get better… but just something different. This is what 6 months of hard work and commitment looks like for me. I can finally know what happiness and serenity feel like. I get to help others as well as tell my story and share my solution. In doing that, I’m able turn all of the negative from before into positive now. If you are struggling, please ask someone for help and dig deep down with everything you have to find the willingness to change. It’s worth it, I promise you”.
#9. Jessie has been sober since July 6th 2014
“To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
#10. 6 Years Meth Free
“I keep that picture to remind myself where it took me, where I was. I felt defeated. I look at the other picture and I think, ‘Wow, I did it.’ Today I celebrate my life! 6yrs clean from the grips of meth addiction! If you are still in the midst of this ugly nightmare please know there is hope. You too can beat this and have a beautiful life. It is NEVER too late. Forgive yourself and know that you are worthy! I am blessed to have the love and forgiveness of all that love me! I love my life and I love all my friends and family that have always supported me.”
#11. 8 Months Clean From Heroin
“8 miraculous months sober… Longest I’ve ever went… Without being forced. Because I want it this time.”
#12. 6 Years Opiate Free
“I was a hardcore addict for about 5 years up until 2009 when I was arrested for a DUI on what would turn out to be the last night I ever touched an opiate. I found the mugshot on one of those extortion “pay us to remove your mugshot” websites, and placed it next to a picture of myself after 6 years clean. I honestly had no idea at the time that I looked that bad. Getting through withdrawal was hell… I went cold turkey from everything, including a daily 130mg dose of methadone. The first week, I spent in jail. The rest I spent at my mom’s house curled up in a fetal position. It took about a month to beat it, and I initially stayed awake for 11 days. If you’re currently struggling with recovery, stay in the fight. Believe me, you probably don’t remember how awesome it is to wake up and not worry about finding drugs to not be sick for the day”.
#13. One Year Clean From Heroin
“They tell you all the scary stuff, but the scariest thing they don’t tell you is that you are gonna love it. You’re gonna love it so much, and it will trick you because you just think, ‘Oh this is nice, it’s not that big of a deal.’ I thought it was a blessing because I could focus in school. I did some pretty bad things. Things I would have never imagined myself doing, but it just escalates and escalates. That desperation, and the way that the drugs make you feel… It doesn’t even matter at that moment what you do, you just have to get money any how, any way, to get your dope. My own family didn’t even know who I was anymore. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Now I don’t feel this constant pressure to have to go out and do something or be somebody that I’m not. I can just focus on being me”.
#14. Didn’t Only Get Rid Of Drugs He Also Got Rid Of Food
#15. Five Months Clean From Heroin, Cocaine and Ecstasy
“I am 25 years old now. It all started back around 18-19 years old. That is when I first tried percocet. Since then I have been in and out of a few rehabs. Every time I went was because I depleted my families resources or wanted to get them off my back. But about 13 months ago, right after Valentine’s day last year is when I took a nose dive. I had upgraded from snorting percocets to snorting raw heroin around the age of 21. It lasted awhile. But as most people know, its innevitable that an addict will eventually move over to needles. It got even worse quick. First off I switched from raw heroin to scramble immediately. It was way cheaper and when it comes to IV use, it gives off a way better rush. This also resulted in become dope sick way quicker than before. I went from 185 to 148 pounds in about 3 months. Now I’m at this place in Baltimore. I’ve been here since I got out of jail and flew back in november. And life is really good. I know 5 months of clean time isn’t a lot… But it’s great for me. I’ve never ever had real time before. So this is awesome”.
#16. Five Years Clean From Heroin
Jeanette was caught stealing to fund her addiction. Despite having 174 previous convictions, Fidler escaped jail after insisting that she had beaten her addiction after completing a drug recovery program. The mum-of-two completed an eight-week stint in rehab and has now been clean for 5 years.
#17. 106 Days Clean
#18. One Year Meth Clean
I was going to jump off the bridge because I’d had enough of the lifestyle of being high, being homeless, having nowhere to go and being completely unhappy. Now I have real friends. I talk to my family a lot. I’m gaining relationships back. I can show up. I can show up in life. I can be a friend; I can be a brother, a son. I can be an uncle and those are all things that I value and all things I couldn’t do before.
#19. Ten Month Clean From Crystal Meth
The difference between these two photos is only 11 months and a lot of hard work. I am 29 years old and i’m a recovering drug addict! I was bound by addiction for 16 years. In February 2014 my body began to give way for the last time – I almost lost my life to my ice. I fight for my life one day at a time! I praise God every day I wake up alive and every night that I am now clean! I now believe I am worthy of recovery and another chance at living a healthy lifestyle!
#20. Nine Months Meth And Heroin Free
I was strung out on meth and heroin. I had been getting high for 7 years and shooting up for about 4. I was running around with a gang. Not everyone believes in God, but I do now. He has done so much for me, I’ve only been out of these ministries for about 1 1/2 months and I’ve already begun working at a transitional home to help other people who need a place to stay and someone to believe in them. I want to thank God for saving me from the terrible shroud of darkness I was in, and showing me true happiness. If you or anyone you know is struggling with drug addiction here is proof it can be done!
#21. 90 Days Meth Free
“I wanted to show people the effects of what meth can do to you and hope to inspire some people who are in addiction or in the process of recovery like I am. No, I’m not proud of the fact I used to do meth. I didn’t even realize how disgusting I looked while I was using until after I got clean and realized how awful I looked. Im 5’4 tall and was 110 lbs in the first picture and now I’m at a healthy weight of 130 and proud of it. I just remember seeing others going about their normal lives wondering if I would ever have the ability to live a serene life clean and free of meth – anyone who has been addicted knows exactly what I mean by that. I truly wish the best for anyone trying to beat this nasty addiction… And just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel”.
#22. 5 Years Clean From Meth
“I got hooked for a number of reasons. Meth is extremely addictive by itself, but I also have a genetic predisposition to addiction and OCD, which makes using stimulants “scratch and itch”. I was able to get sober through attempting to get sober, as weird as that sounds. I kept trying and trying until finally I just did. To be more specific about what I did to get sober, I went to meetings, I enlisted the support of those around me by admitting my problem and acknowledging that I was trying to quit, I got private therapy, I started working out/running and I got involved and obtained commitments at sober events so that my attendance would be expected and that helped me to develop a support network of other sober people”.
#23. 147 Days Clean From Meth
We both started smoking ice in 2012 just after we were married. We already had 3 beautiful kids together and had everything, jobs, cars, a mortgage, a dog. And then ICE came and destroyed that, I was 20yrs old than. We lost it all but my children although I think I came close. We smoked for the next 2 years than started injecting. We moved from NSW to WA to try escape but that’s when it got worse. I had to make the choice between drugs/my husband or our children. He was not ready and I couldn’t do anything so I left him and came home to NSW with my kids. 2 weeks later he ended up in prison. On August 5th 2014 I decided to get clean and stay clean. I’m now almost 5 months clean and have my own house again, have my dog again, have my own car again, and have my children and my health, both mental and physical. Everyone who knows what I have been through these past 3 years tells me I’m looking fantastic and they are proud of me for making the change.
#24. Two Years Clean
#25. Four Years Clean From Meth And Opiates
“I was a hopeless drug addict for 15+ years. My d.o.c was meth and opiates. I was also an atheist. But in August 14, 2012 I hit my knees and begged God for forgiveness and saving. I am happy to say I am now 4 years clean and am also a worship leader at my church! God is so good!”
#26. 29 Months Clean