These 20+ Before & After Photos Reveal The Effects Of Giving Up Drugs

The difference in these individuals' faces and physiques is drastic!

Credit: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Did you know? Most people are addicted to some form of drug. That?s right, caffeine, for instance, is the most widely consumed drug on the planet. Pharmaceutical prescriptions, as well, can hook their users (as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recently pointed out). However, it?s the ?illegal? drugs that tend to wreak the most havoc on peoples? bodies.

We?re talking about drugs like crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine – all of which are incredibly addictive as well as hard to quit. However, with enough persistence, support, and a reason to wean oneself off the substances, it?s possible. The following 20+ people are living proof of this.

Each submission (compiled by Bored Panda) has an explanation for why they turned to drugs and a reason for why they?re now sober. Get inspired by these brave individuals by scrolling through the list below:

#1 4 Years Clean From Meth And Heroin


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“Today (12/6/16) marks 4 years clean from heroin and meth. I was a terrible iv user and like most, 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 everyday I thank God that I am not where I once was! Sobriety is possible.”

#2 6 Years Meth Free

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“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.”

#3 10 Years Clean From Crystal Meth

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“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.”

#4 8 Months Clean From Heroin

“8 miraculous months sober… Longest I’ve ever went… Without being forced. Because I want it this time.”

#5 Here Is What 826 Days Heroin Clean Looks Like

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“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.”

#6 More Than 3 Years Clean And Sober

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“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.”

#7 6 Years Clean From Cocaine And Heroin. Photographed Himself During The Years He Was Addicted

Credit: Susan Stellin

“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.”

#8 Six Months Meth And Heroin Clean

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“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 6 Years Opiate-Free

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“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.”

#10 4 Years and 4 Months Clean

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