If you enjoyed watching Breaking Bad, but missed the part about drugs being really bad for you, then a series of photos put together by Rehabs.com, called Faces of Addiction, shows exactly how drugs ravage and destroy a person’s mind, soul, and physical appearance.
The Daily Mail reports that Rehabs.com is an educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of substance abuse, and the project details the devastating toll drugs have took on 13 unnamed individuals who have been arrested over the years on various drug charges involving methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and painkillers.
A brief look at these photos of broken, gaunt, and prematurely-aged faces with their gruesome catalogue of open sores, skin lesions, missing teeth, and severe disfigurement and you’ll no doubt agree that the physical decline of these drug addicts is visibly harrowing.
Rehabs.com state as much on their website.
“The pursuit of a drug habit can cost these people everything – their friends and family, their home and livelihood. And nowhere is that impact more evident than in the faces of addicts themselves.
“The consequences of addiction can remain etched in their very skin for years.”
Rehabs.com also points out that as well as suffering from the direct effects of substance abuse, addicts will also often fall into a vicious cycle of self-neglect where pride in one’s appearance and care of one’s health take a back seat in the overwhelming need to constantly obtain drugs.
The gallery of withered drug addicts is not a pretty sight. One has a glass eye and sores on her forehead, one has no teeth and a shattered nose, and yet another appears to be a wrinkled old man after more than 14 years of cocaine abuse.
Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the picture of the 46-year-old addict arrested for possession of cocaine in 2009. In the ‘before’ photo he looks like the picture of health, heavyset with a full beard. Fast forward five years and he appears a mere shell of a man. His mouth is toothless, his cheeks sallow and sunken, his facial muscles appear to have collapsed and his eyes seem lit with nothing but a haunted despair.
The pictures may not be pretty but they are necessary. This is the reality of the sort of recipe Walter White and Jesse Pinkman cook up in Breaking Bad.
And with more than 24 million people reporting to Rehab.com that they had abused drugs in a single month, the problem doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.