Deputy Bret King, a sheriff’s deputy at Multnomah County Detention Center in Portland, Oregon, is the man behind “Faces of Addiction” – a campaign designed to expose the disturbing effects of heavy drug use, at the greater purpose of deterring people from drugs. His campaign started with the release of Meth addicts mug shots in 2004, after he spent hours in the classification unit to figure out who is photographed. Over the years, several follow-up campaigns have been launched in an attempt to be aware to the disturbing outcomes of drug use.
We have here the recent campaign by Rehabs.com, who have gathered some mug shots of people who were arrested for drug possession and use several times, to show us the true faces of people struggling with drug addiction, and it is horrifying. The tragic and straightforward pictures are here to show us how extreme and almost always irreversible these changes are, both mentally and physically.
The people photographed here were facing criminal charges over a span of several years, after being caught with the possession of drugs such as Marijuana, Meth, Cocaine, Heroin and Oxycodone. The surprising and astounding facts are that in 2013, 4.2 million Americans (aged 12 or older) were considered marijuana addicts according to criteria. In 2012, a survey showed 1.6 million Americans have been using cocaine, and 300,000 have been using meth just in the prior month.
In the photos we can see some disturbing side effects caused by drug abuse such as extreme weight loss, tooth decay, facial sores and scabs, and appearance of accelerated aging. In fact, while conducting this campaign, rehabs.com have showed people pictures of drug addicts in a span of several years and asked them how much they seem to have aged; the answers were almost always twice the number of actual years passed, showing how badly drug abuse impaired their appearance.
The definition of addiction by The National Council on Drug and Alcohol Dependence Inc. offers a list of main indicators to identify symptoms of severe addiction. They include the inability to stop using, and suffering withdrawal symptoms in the cases that do attempt or don’t manage to acquire, an increasing need for more and more drugs to achieve an effect, and neglecting or abandoning once-important activities.
If you think you may be addicted or anyone you know may need help to battle addiction, don’t hesitate and don’t postpone it as can only get worse. When under the influence of these horrible drugs, one loses their personality and no one – no matter how close their family and friends may be, is immune as it makes the user violent and unrecognizable, and the implications are sometimes irreversible. If you have any kind of suspicion someone you know is suffering from an addiction hurry up and call a helpline or seek professional assistance.
The following photos include explanation and a time frame so you can understand how drastic these things are. We recommend that you keep looking and share this post even though it is tragic so you can deter and warn anyone who may be at risk.