‘The Addict’s Diary’ Showcases Before & After Transformations Of People Who Quit Drugs (98 Stories)

Kevin Alter fell into drugs when he was only 17. His journey downhill began during his high school years on Long Island when he and his friends got some cocaine. He couldn’t stop the first time he tried it and spent the majority of the next 12 years homeless and in and out of addiction. Now 31, Alter has been sober for 3 years and is running “The Addict’s Diary,” a blog where others are sharing their own substance abuse and recovery stories.

“I lost my entire 20s to a syringe and a bag of heroin,” Alter told Fox News.

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After his parents caught on, the young man was sent to the first of 29 inpatient treatment centers. After completing the program, he finished his senior year and graduated.Things turned for the worse when Alter rejoined his old friends. “All [of them] were doing drugs, and I got back into it and began the game of hiding it from my family the best I could,” he recalled the first relapse. “You get better with that as you grow in your addiction.”

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On August 18th, 2017 — liquor completely shut my pancreas down. I was alone in the hospital room and I begged the nurse, “Please don’t leave me, I think I am dying.” I was dying. Today, at 18 months sober, I start my first day of patient care for my extern. I just graduated from medical assistant school last Thursday. Share my story to show others that they can get back up too!

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Millions saw me overdose after a photo taken of me by a police officer went viral. None of those people have seemed to have time to reach out and check on me, so here is an update: Today I celebrated three years clean and my son gets to have his mommy back. How about you make THAT go viral!

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According to Alter, he never fully understood the 12-step program and narcotics anonymous meetings that he was introduced to as a teen. “I wasn’t willing to let go of people that I needed to, that’s a difficult thing to do when you’re a kid.” He still got a college scholarship. However, when he returned home after his first year, Alter’s old pals showed him a new drug: heroin.

“I’m not your typical heroin addict that got a prescription and started abusing pills. I started pretty much straight with heroin, and so from there — heroin would take over my life for the next 11 years.” It was an endless cycle of family heartbreak, homelessness, friends dying, and rehab. “It sucked.”


My name is Hlynur. I’m 30 years old and I’m from Iceland. I have been battling addiction since I started steroids when I was 19 years old. I was in prison for 14 months in the state of Ceara in Brazil. I was raised by a fantastic family and there were no signs of this upcoming battle while growing up. I developed an addiction while competing in bodybuilding. Steriods, amphetamine, and cocaine. Last year I was smoking crack on a daily basis. I was the arrogant know it all type and I was quite angry, for what reason, I still don’t know. But, the emptiness inside was always there until I went to rehab on 5/27/19.

Today, I am 78 days sober. I’m humble because I set my pride aside and asked for help. It saved my life. I’m a living example that even though I went to hell and back, there is still hope!

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“Every bridge had been burned, but someone presented me with an opportunity to go to treatment and they offered to come [and] get me,” Alter said. “I didn’t even want to get clean — you have to put yourself in the frame of mind of going in and out of treatment for 12 years, coming from this good family of law enforcement and firefighters, and you’re just this lost person out there, I really didn’t think I could get clean. I just assumed I was going to be a heroin addict forever.”

Everything changed when Alter went to his 29th treatment facility. He was tasked with writing his life story and was shocked when someone else who was of a similar age could only write down five bullet points. The next day, Alter read 46 pages of his own story to his group. His therapist highlighted that he failed to state the actual reasons he got high. Which got Alter thinking since he had never thought about it before. “She said, ‘You get high because you hate yourself.'”

He realized he had to love himself while sober, and has spent the last 3 years really focusing on it. “The Addict’s Diary” now has over 540K fans, and Alter is not only talking about his personal struggles but supporting them in sharing their stories about their own journeys as well.


My name is Madison and when I was just 15 years old I started using crack and heroin. By 20 I was on the streets homeless. In my active addiction I went through a lot. I overdosed nineteen times, and escaped situations on the street that I still don’t have words for. Drug court saved my life, and helped me get to where I am today. My family was the first thing to go to my addiction. Today, they’re back in my life and support me. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t support us. There’s a lot of posts out there knocking us. Let them see this. Let them see my picture. I’ll stand up for us. We are the forgotten ones. The ones nobody thought would make it. Look at us now. Never count out an addict.

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My drug use caused me to go septic and the infection in my heart left me with endocarditis. The doctors told me I had 12 months to live if I kept using. They said my heart wouldn’t hold up after that. Here’s a picture of me at my college yesterday. I have 11 months clean today!

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She met her childhood friend who went mad after being addicted to drugs. Instead of running away, she bought him breakfast, spoke to him, then decided to have him admitted to the hospital. Now he’s in treatment and on the road to recovery. Now that’s a true friend.

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I remember it like it was yesterday. It was me and my three friends sitting in a car getting high on heroin. My buddy picked his head up from a nod and said in his raspy voice, “We won’t be doing this forever. One day we’ll grow out of this and have normal lives.” Everyone in the car agreed. At 20 years old we really believed it was a phase. We were actually convicted that it was something we would grow out of. Everyone who was in the car that day is now dead except for me. They weren’t bad kids. They just got caught up in something bad. Something that put their hooks in them. Something that doesn’t let go so easily. Addiction isn’t a phase. You’re either going to deal with this, or this is going to deal with you.

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I went from being 89 pounds, addicted to heroin, and suicidal to finally feeling the miracle people in recovery were talking about. It took 9 rehabs and more detoxes than I can count, but one day I got it. With God, anything is possible. Don’t give up.

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My downfall started with weed when I was 15. Then, the progression took me through multiple drugs before I found meth. I can remember living in a shed with a guy behind his parent’s house. We wouldn’t sleep for a week at a time. We would use the garden as a bathroom. This guy abused me. He raped me. He took advantage of me. And to deal with this, I self-medicated more.

After a restraining order and years of trying to overcome PTSD, I am officially now over a year in recovery. I am studying nursing and dealing with the autoimmune disease I contracted in active addiction by living a healthy lifestyle in the gym. I am so much happier than I ever thought that I deserved. There is NOTHING that I miss about my old life. Recovery is possible, my photos are proof.

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It started with pills, mainly percocet when I was 21. I was really sick one day and a friend gave me heroin. I started shooting it at 24. I tried meth for the first time at 25. I was shooting them both in no time. Over the next 3 years I overdosed 8 times. If I wasn’t homeless, I was living at a trap house with no electricity or running water with a 61 year old man who was on disability & sold meth. In and out of jail constantly for possession, identity theft etc. I used needles I found in the bottom of a shopping cart full of trash. I didn’t care. I was 100 lbs. I hated myself and I truly wanted to die. I went to prison. I did 15 1/2 months on 18. I got clean. I’m 30 years old now, I’ve been clean for 2 years & 8 months & I have a 6 and a half month old baby girl, and a great fiance. Finally, as I lay here breastfeeding my beautiful baby I can say I love myself and I enjoy life now without heroin or meth. Anything is possible, don’t give up. Do anything. Just don’t ever give up.

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My name is Matt and I’m an addict. A sports injury at 14 led me to a doctor’s office. That’s where my life changed forever. The doctor transformed me from a regular kid to a drug addict with nothing more than a pen and a prescription pad. The next 6 years were a nightmare. It very quickly went from painkillers to heroin. I lost everything—family, possessions, and was even evicted. A bad car accident led me into recovery on April 21, 2012. I got clean at 20 years old. Today, at 28 I am a father of two, a man who has found God, and a business owner.

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I spent years in denial about my addiction. “I can stop any time”, I would always tell myself.

Then one day, I overdosed. Even with a PICC line in my arm from a recent heart infection, caused by shooting up, I continued to use. And that was nearly my last time. My mother found me in my room, on my bed, clinging to life. EMS was able to arrive on scene and reverse the opiods in time to save my life. If my mom wouldn’t have found me, I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story.

Like nearly every addict, I relapsed a few weeks later. Instead of pills and fentanyl patches, I moved to heroin. I loved the rush I felt when shooting it up. It provided me such serenity and a mind-numbing experience. My family and partner at the time found out a few weeks later. I was so embarrassed of my addiction, I fled and hid for 4 days.

Upon returning home, law enforcement was called and I was committed to a local psychiatric facility for 5 days. There, they provided some medications to aide in my withdrawls. Still so, I had numerous days of body aches, cold sweats that would soak my bed sheets, and incessant, projectile vomiting. Upon my discharge, I went through months of grueling therapy, medications, and learning new ways to confront my emotions and fears, instead of numbing them.

I have been clean since October 6, 2015. 1,372 days of sobriety. 32,928 hours. 118,540,800 seconds of struggling and learning to cope with life without drugs.

In January of 2016, I acquired a new job where I am now a manager of a department. I have also taken up a passion for EMS, working as an EMT in a county with numerous heroin ODs since May 2016. I am now nearing the end of a 2 year paramedic program. As it has been since the day I got sober, my goal every day is to continue to find myself and help others in a similar position do the same.

I am, and always will be, an addict. Sobriety isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. But my God, a life without drugs is surreal.

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I have 60 days clean from IV heroin, crack, meth, Suboxone, and all other substances. On the left was September 12th, on the right is me with my daughter this past Halloween 2019

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Check out this miracle. A once incarcerated heroin addict is now a productive member of society again. I want to thank United Recovery Project for another job well done. Today, my friend Dylan has 18 months clean. He said, “I just want to be famous for a day Kev.” So, let’s make him famous and pass his story around the world.

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Hey guys this is Alicia. She sent me this photo a few minutes ago. She said, “I am proud of this photo. I had no where else to post it or anyone to talk about it with. Sorry for any inconvenience.” I decided to post it because I know all of your care. Let’s show her some love. She has 11 months clean today.

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People always told us that two “addicts” can never make it, that we should just get a divorce and go our separate ways. Well, we just couldn’t accept that solution. In 2010 after the sudden death of my younger brother & after 10 years of active addiction, we had both finally hit bottom…we each went into a Christ-centered recovery center. We spent almost a year apart from each other both determined for a better life. This year, he in May & I in July, we made 9 years clean and sober and free from addiction together! In August we celebrated 11 years of marriage. Through the power of GOD & a ton of forgiveness, we now live our lives as if our past never happened. Our journey has not always been easy but it has been worth every second. Recovery is possible

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This is what 393 days clean looks like. This is a miracle!

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My name is Sarah and I am 29 years old. I started heavily drinking at the age of 15. I was in and out of treatment centers. By the age of 26, I was diagnosed with stage 1 liver disease and alcohol neuropathy. I weighed about 75 pounds. I became paralyzed and lost the ability to walk or use my body. I was told I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I ended up having to get sober in the hospital and I worked my butt off with physical and occupational therapy to learn how to walk again. At 27, I was able to get to treatment for my alcoholism and I have been sober since June 24, 2017 — and I am grateful everyday!

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My name is Elizabeth Quiroz and I am a Human Trafficking Victim Advocate/Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I am also a human trafficking survivor, a former Foster youth and a formerly incarcerated student. The picture on the left is a broken woman. The picture on the right is who I am today. Growing up, I endured so much physical abuse that I landed in foster care. I come from a family of gang members, child molesters, drug addicts and alcoholics. I ran away from everything at 15 years old and right into the arms of my trafficker. My trafficker got me hooked on meth and my family supplied him with the drugs. For 12 years I was addicted and sold on the streets of San Francisco. I endured physical abuse and sexual assaults beginning at the age of 4 and rapes from the age of 14 to 26. Throughout the years I went to Valley State Prison and in and out of numerous correctional facilities. At the age of 26, I lost my son and was arrested for the final time. I was numb from all of the horrific abuse. That day brought me back to life though. I did 18 months prison term in the county and completed 2 programs. I decided to change my life around.

Today, I have 8 years clean and I graduated last May with 3 AA degrees with the highest honors. I am currently at Sonoma State University obtaining my bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I will be the first person in my family to obtain a degree! I am breaking generational curses! God, the programs, and the arresting officers gave me a new life. I am also on the Sonoma Counties Human Trafficking Task Force and I have been featured in multiple articles and newspapers. I was granted a full and unconditional Governors Pardon from Governor Jerry Brown on Christmas Eve. My long term goal is to become a probation officer and start non-profit housing for Human trafficking victims here in Sonoma County. If I can turn it around to help others then there is hope for the broken!

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For the past 6 years of my life I have been living like a lost soul. Partying, lying, stealing, robbing, and shooting or smoking dope. I have 60 days sober today, and this is the most alive I have ever felt. I was in a 30 day program in South Carolina. When I left, I moved to California into a sober living. I knew that if I left I would get high and I didn’t want to do that so I knew I needed to get out of my comfort zone. That was the best decision I’ve ever made. I know I am still early on, but I have already learned so much about myself that I never knew. I’m learning what I struggle with, what makes me happy, what makes me sad, and this is the first time in years that I’m actually okay with feeling these feelings. Because for so long I’ve drowned all of those emotions with heroin, cocaine, crack, and meth. I had no idea it could be this great. I couldn’t imagine a life without drugs. I thought it would be lame and boring, but I quickly learned how wrong I was. This is only the beginning. I can not wait to see what sobriety holds for me, because I know it’s going to be so beautiful.

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The mugshot was my lowest point; living on the streets using heroin and meth. May 3, 2018 I was arrested and pulled out of my addiction. Recovery not only feels good, but it looks good too.

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8 months ago I overdosed and almost lost my life. The doctor said he didn’t know how I survived. I was in the ICU for 10 days and my face was partially paralyzed. I got out of the hospital and immediately started using again. Broken and beaten I eventually sought professional help, and after that I moved into a sober living. Today, I am 84 days sober. My face healed and my life has changed in so many ways. The journey hasn’t been perfect, but it definitely has been worth it. Show this picture to your family and friends. This is the end result of drugs. I am one of the lucky ones.

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My name is Samantha. The picture to the left is one of my booking photos. I have been through a lot of trauma. For a long time I lived as though my own body and mind were in a personal hellish prison. By the grace of God, I have overcome my demons. My daily life is now conducted in a manner that is far different from my sick and suffering days. The places I go, the things I do, and the people I am with are a reflection of my spiritual progress. My life is conducted with the knowledge that God is always at my side and that he guides me through the day. I am not automatically entitled to succeed in everything, or in anything. Through the steps and receiving love from my AA family, my perception of life has changed. Once my thoughts changed, so did my actions. That is when I finally got results. I have learned that it takes a steady hand to hold a full cup. There is hope. There is a lot of work ahead of me, but I will keep coming back.

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I grew up in a normal house like most of you. My parents raised us to know right from wrong, I just always found trouble. I was 15 years old when I started drinking, and I instantly loved how it made me feel. From that point on I always wanted an escape. I started by drinking all my parents liquor, and pretty soon I was a regular at the liquor store. One night I got too drunk and took 35 pills. The doctors put in a medically induced coma in an attempt to save my life. When I awoke I had to relearn how to walk, talk, and function. The doctors told my family I was within ten minutes of being a lost cause. My brother was the one who found me. He saved my life and I am forever grateful. I went to treatment after I got out of that hospital. I moved to a new place and started a new life. I had a couple couple bumps in the road but I finally did it. My sobriety date is March 3, 2016 and I am coming up on 3 years sober.

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I grew up in a good home, with loving parents who did everything right. I was a ballet dancer, a friend, a sister. I excelled at school & had big goals for myself. Until I didn’t.

What started out as young teenage fun turned in to a 15 year drug fuelled tornado of hell that I couldn’t seem to escape. Overdoses, losing my son, losing my family, detoxes, treatment centres, sleeping on the streets I truly didn’t think I had a bottom and was on a mission to end my life.

Here I am almost 3 years later and I have 2 children now. I work with youth who are struggling with mental health and addiction issues. My family is back in my life. Those are all amazing, but the feelings of self respect, confidence and self love top any of it. I look in the mirror and smile because my life is so full.

If this hopeless junkie can get clean – so can you!

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My name is Jamee and I am a recovering heroin and meth addict. These pictures are 2 years apart. The better-looking version of me being just a few months ago when I got my GED! Recovery is possible!

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Meet Paige, a 19 year old recovering addict. Let’s show the world that recovery from heroin and crystal meth is possible and make this young woman go viral!

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I grew up in a christian household. I had two amazing parents who worked their butts off to spoil my siblings and I. I attended church every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. I was a great basketball player. God and basketball were all I cared about until something else took over.

Drugs made me somebody I’m not. I tried things I never would have tried sober. I am the type of addict that would take something and then ask you what it was. I didn’t care what it was, as long as it would take me away from myself and outside my thoughts. I wanted it. I was the type of addict that was so embarrassed of my addiction, I’d be nodding out right in front of you but swear I’m just tired.

Today is October 2nd 2019 and I am 8 months 17 days sober. I am almost 20 years old and 9 months ago I thought I would never be happy or be loved. I thought I’d be better off dead. Now, I have awesome doctors who are aware of my addiction and help to prescribe mood stabilizers that help with my bipolar, anxiety and depression as well as a sleep medication that helps me get through the night without nightmares or flashbacks. I have 2 therapists; one for mental illness and one for substance abuse. I lived in a recovery house for 6 months and I recently moved back in with my family. I get to work with kids everyday. I finally saved enough to get my car when I got 7 months. I am in a happy relationship with a man who is patient and understanding and never shames me for my past. I still struggle intimately due to trauma but I can honestly say that I am happy. I am so incredibly blessed and lucky. I would not have the life I have today had I not surrendered that night. I could/should be dead right now. It’s been too close too many times, but God is watching over me and has a bigger plan for my life

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My names is Michael. A lot of you have seen my previous post talking about my HIV and becoming clean and sober after being being left in an ally to overdose. That day, an amazing lady was my guardian angel and happened to be carrying Narcan on her. She saved me. I just wanted to give an update. I’m coming up on 2 years clean. I just wanted thank everyone for the overwhelming support and love!

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For most of my life, I struggled with addiction. Today, I am 2 years and 6 months sober off meth and pills. In recovery I got my drivers license back after 18 years. I am working full time, and next week I start college to become a drug counselor. Recovery is possible!

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Three years ago, I had a life threatening heart infection. One that most addicts die from (endocarditis). It is such a bad condition that after they tell you, they ask if there is anyone that you would like them to call. For me, it was my mom.

“Your daughter was admitted to the hospital with a terrible infection due to her drug use. The infection has made it to her heart and we’re not sure if we caught it in time. You might want to come see her.”

I hadn’t spoken to my mom in years, but when I found out she was on her way, I waited in the hospital parking lot. She didn’t see me, but I saw her. She was crying alone in her car. It made my heart ache.

I’m sure she had so much going through her mind. She had already lost my brother at a young age due to a genetic illness. I was her only child. Even though she was working full time, she would come visit me after having a long day at work just to show she was there for me. She did this for the month that I stayed in the hospital.

I had to keep a portable IV machine on me for 3 months after that. I would have to go to pick up IV fluids once a week at the hospital. She came from out of town all those times, just to show she was there and that she cared.

I would always try to make her feel bad for not “helping me” through my addiction. (Although I know now she was ALWAYS only trying to help me me by not enabling me, as I would always ask her for money and make her feel terrible when she didn’t give it me). But it’s that morning I saw her in that parking lot, crying, not knowing I was watching her, that gave me that guy wrench. Seeing her woke something up inside of m. I was just so tired.

I was so beat. My body hated me. I asked god to help me over and over again. “Please help me stay sober. Please give me the strength.”

I’m officially three years clean of that lifestyle and all that comes with it. I was addicted to drugs for ten years, basically from 18-28. I have tried every drug. I went from taking pain killers my dentist prescribed me to oxys, to crack, back to pain killers, then meth, and finally heroin and finally fentanyl. I went from being in college with my life ahead of me to a homeless “junkie” using needles and putting myself in situations I could have never imagined being in — including having a criminal record.

Now I have such a wonderful life! I have my own home. I have a job. I have my loving family back that I missed SOO much. I’ve never been happier. My mom has never been happier or more proud of the woman I am becoming, and that alone makes this whole journey that much better.

So what I’m trying to say is, even if you feel like giving up, DON’T! Everyone has the strength to get to the other side. You just have to find it! Just keep believing you are worth it!! You deserve happiness. I’m happy. I’m sober. I’m alive. And as of July 1st, 2016, I am 3 years sober.

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The picture on the left is me 11 months ago. On the right is me today. Last November I ended up in ER from a combination of opioids and alcohol. I was told I was lucky I didn’t have a stroke. Three days after getting out of the ER, I checked myself into a treatment center. I spent 21 days there only to relapse a month later. 6 weeks later, I checked myself back in the same treatment center. This time it was different — in a good way. I spent another 21 days there. When I got out, I did not go back home. My wife was not ready for me to come back. Who could blame her? About 3 weeks later, it was Easter morning. I had just got into my car to go to church and I just started weeping out loud. All my pain, hurt, and suffering I had been going through was gone. Not only that, my desire to use was gone too. I’m still in a long-term treatment program. I call it my good medicine. Since the end of March, I also got on a exercise program. I’ve lost 70 pounds. Last month I ran a half marathon. Not bad for a 64 year old. I was on 200 mg of high pressure medicine, I’m on none now. I was on cholesterol meds, not any more. I was on depression medication just over 20 years. Now I am on nothing. I just live healthy and pray. God will give you the strength and endurance to get you through your recovery.

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I grew up loving God and singing in church. Drugs do not discriminate and the picture below is the end result of IV crystal meth addiction. MRSA attacked my bloodstream, my lungs, and the tricuspid valve inside my heart. It took 7 weeks of antibiotics through a PICC line and me being stuck in a hospital bed for me to wake up. It took open heart surgery for me to be ready to listen. Only by the grace of God was I able to make it out. The picture on the right is of me now. My life is so different today in recovery, and I finally know what happiness is. So I’m here to tell you, that if you’re in recovery and you’re running away from your old life, RUN HARDER. If you’re trying to get clean, TRY HARDER. If you feel like you’ll never be able to do it, remind yourself of my story. THIS CAN AND WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. There is a way out, please take it!

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One year ago I was lost, but now I am found. Don’t give up. Keep fighting.

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“What’s up champ I’m on Guy Brewer, how much do you need?” I sit and pause for a moment. My nose is running, my stomach is churning, and my bones are aching for a bundle of heroin. The question hits me again? How much do I need? Here’s what I need. I need one bundle of low-esteem. I need ten years of pain. I need to be so dishonest that I can no longer decipher the true from the false. I need to hate my life everyday. I need to dread the next day because I know tomorrow I’ll be forced to do it all over again. I need to be degraded, and embarrassed. I need to spend everyday worrying about being dope sick and forget about what real life is. I need a decade worth of getting my mother’s hopes up just to tear them down. I need 3,650 days of being estranged from my family. I need 28 failed treatment attempts. I need homelessness, and dereliction. I need to spend Christmas year after year in a train station. I need 7 overdoses and 7 emergency rooms to walk right out of. I need the stigma of addiction to make me settle in life. I need to be riddled with fear in every fiber of my being. I NEED TO LOSE EVERYTHING. Boobie pauses for a second and says, “Yeah champ I got that for you, it’s 75 a bundle but it’s fire today.” I try to tell him I don’t want it, but all that comes out my mouth is, “I’m on my way.”

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“On the left I’m nodding out on heroin. On the right I’m rocking out in my recovery. And today, I have one year clean.”

-Charles IL 37 y/o

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I share my story of alcoholism because there are people still suffering who need to know a life of sobriety exists. There are people right now desperate for an escape from the vicious and crippling grip of addiction. I was one of them. We are around you more than you think. We are your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, and colleagues.

I just want you all to know that recovery is possible and that there is freedom from addiction. Starting over is possible. It’s not easy by any means. You have to WANT to change. You have to want it for yourself and be relentless in your pursuit of peace.

I was fired from a job because of my drinking.

That didn’t stop me.

I allowed people who showed me the purest form of love walk out of my life because of my drinking.

That didn’t stop me.

In the hospital 2 years ago, doctors told me I wouldn’t make it past the age of 30 if I kept drinking recklessly. My body was shutting down. I was slowly killing myself. I had to have multiple blood transfusions because my blood count was so low and depleted. I had a feeding tube inserted down my throat because I had started throwing up blood and doctors were afraid I might die from internal bleeding.

That wasn’t enough to stop me.

A DUI wasn’t enough to stop me. The judge gave me 20 days in jail because I had well over a 0.40% BAC.

I remember in jail there was a correction officer I went to high school with who gave me a PB&J sandwich and then looked at me and said:

“Richie, I could’ve never pictured you in jail. You were our class president….Aren’t you suppose to be changing the world or something?”

That night in jail I cried all night on the top bunk in a basement surrounded by dozens of other inmates. I was deeply ashamed and overcome with this piercing sadness. It felt like my life was no longer mines. The vibrancy and passion that I once had was no longer there. I was living a life with no purpose. I was in this deep, dark pit at the mercy of a destructive substance.

I put my family and loved ones through unimaginable trauma and despair. I didn’t deserve the unyielding support and love they gave me when I had nothing to give them in return. They never gave up on me and it was a loyalty and love that helped form the powerful catalyst needed for a change to occur in my life.

The memories of the past will never leave me. They serve as a glaring reminder of how powerless I truly was, and it is a part of my story where I found within me a type of strength I never thought I had. With the help of God, my family, and an incredible support system I sought out, I picked up the shattered fragments of my life and learned how to hold my head up high again.

I feel the glory of a victorious survivor.

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For years Tara lived on the street due to her addiction. Today she helps addicts overcome their own addictions as a counselor. Clean since 5/06/16. Share if you believe in miracles

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Resurrection: Fourteen years ago, I laid on my prison cell floor pregnant with my daughter and I cried out to God. My prayer was sincere and desperate. I cried out, “God I don’t know if you listen to people like me but if you do please help me!” After 83 arrest, 66 convictions, 19 years of drug addiction, prostitution, homelessness, and diagnosed mental illness, I felt hopeless, helpless and dead inside. I tried everything else but God, so here I was trying God, sincerely seeking him. He heard my cries. Since that desperate cry, I have not desired or used drugs or even smoked a cigarette. What he has done for me and through me shows the true healing, delivering power of our true, living God. Our Savior! Our redeemer! Our Healer! Our Deliverer! Today marks my 14th year of freedom. Who the son sets free is free indeed. Father God, I celebrate you. I thank you! I honor and worship you for being The Creator! The First and the Last. The Alpha and Omega! Glory to you alone. Thank you for the blood of our Savior Jesus who has set me free!

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Today makes two years sober from injecting heroin. My drug use got so bad, I ended up getting cellulitis on both my legs. They are still healing, but they are coming along.

I kept shooting up in my legs because I really didn’t care about my own well-being. I walked around the streets smelling like rotting flesh.

I was living with my uncle who was using as well, because of me. I was living a careless life. My house was infested with bed bugs but the drugs were the only thing that mattered to me.

One morning, I woke up and my uncle was dead. My family said they weren’t taking me in. My partner said the exact same thing.

I’ve lived on the streets before. Spring had just began so I could’ve easily done that. But something was different. This time, I made a decision to finally get my life together.

I took the bus to the hospital. When I got there, the nurse asked me how I even made it there. I told her the city bus. She said she was shocked because with the condition I was in, I should be dead. I weighed 120 pounds when I got to the hospital.

So here I am today, fifty pounds heavier and with two years sober. I am living with my partner of almost 16 years. I have four fur babies, a job and I pay my own rent. I’m living and loving life right now. Thank you Lord for this umpteenth chance. Clearly you weren’t ready for me yet.

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Hello everyone, my name is Riordan. I am a recovering heroin addict and I have one year clean today. I just want you to see that it’s possible to beat this thing. Thank you.

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The picture on the left was taken during active addiction right after I had been picked up from jail where I hadn’t slept for a week. I was hallucinating and confused. I thought I was having a conversation with my 1-year-old daughter who I hadn’t seen in months and didn’t even know what year it was. The picture on the right is a year later after coming home from a 12-month program I attended. September 29th, 2017 was officially the last day that I put dope in my body. It has been 2 years and now and I finally have the ability to know what it means to be a good father! My fiancée, Brandy Venable, who was also an addict went into a 12-month program as well and now she is also 2 years sober! Now our family is back together under one roof and stronger than ever! There is not often a lot of hope for addict couples to go from active addiction to a fully functioning healthy trusting and loving relationship. In our case, it worked! I didn’t do this on my own. I did it with the fellowship and my God. I hope this gives some of you hope. We can and DO Recover!

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Hello! My name is Lena, I’m 17 years old and from Denmark.

When I was 14 I got some prescription drugs from my psychiatrist.

I soon learned that if you took a little more it would feel good. I often took more than I should and when I was 15 I was hospitalized for the first time. After the first real overdose, I became addicted to taking prescription drugs like benzodiazepines. I was driven to the hospital every two weeks because I had taken pills.

When my psychiatrist found out that I was abusing the drugs she gave me, she took them away from me. I couldn’t handle it, so I went out and bought them from a drug dealer. I took them every day, but then my sister gave birth to her first daughter. I finally had a reason to quit and be a role model.

Now I’m 120 days clean and I feel way better!

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My name is Kyle, and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Not really sure what to say except for the fact that I’m alive today is a miracle. My destructive behaviors started around the age of 15. With the usual high school parties I smoked weed, popped pills, and drank. I tried cocaine and around that time I experimented with percocet. At the age of 16 I received two surgeries, both times walking away with a prescription for percocet and vicodin. At the age of 18, my family relocated from South Florida to Philadelphia. I began working in Delaware County (Suburbs of Philly). I became a volunteer Firefighter and went to school for EMS training. I did relatively well for the next few years. Although I was run over by a car in Philadelphia, my Father was diagnosed with cancer, and my brother passed away from his injuries sustained in the Iraq war. So that was my turning point. In January of 2012 after my brother passed I started using heroin to cover up my feelings and because well I was already hooked on opioid pain pills. In April of 2012, while my girlfriend was pregnant with my first son, I received my first intervention and was introduced into my first rehab. After a 5 day detox, I left AMA. I began a vicious cycle of rehabs, jails, and institutions. 22 rehabs including detoxes, 7 jail stays later and being homeless many nights on the streets of Kensington in Philadelphia eventually led me to a bottom I never thought I would see. I lost many friends and a girlfriend who I was madly in love with. My clean date is now September 8th 2018. I have a little over a year clean and sober. I have my son back in my life. I have a mother who I can finally talk to and I have my brother with a couple nieces and nephews that I love more then anything in the world. God has certainly given me a life beyond my wildest dreams. I’m now a home remodelling contractor who is licensed and insured and life is only getting better with days passing.

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I am a recovering addict, and raging alcoholic. 4 years 3 months sober, 1,563 days of nothing but good times and bad, went through a heck of a time on my road the last few years and the last year.. I have hurt others and myself with my past choices, even after I decided to get sober I still had some upsetting times and things I wish could have been better. But I am here, I am standing and I am breathing and I am coming for my future with arms wide open.

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3 Years Clean!

3 years ago I overdosed behind the wheel, and crashed into a stop sign in downtown Miami. The police found me unresponsive. I have played this scenario out in my head hundreds of times since. It was some kind of Divine Intervention that I survived the OD, and that no one else was killed or injured in the process. It wasn’t my time to go.

My son had just celebrated his 1st birthday a few weeks prior, and the pain of being “Me” was visceral. I was finally ready to do whatever it took to stay clean.

3 years later, taking care of my boy and our little family is my greatest gift! I will go to the ends of the Earth for Anthony. I will eventually educate him about addiction, and that it runs in the family. When he comes of age, there will be no secrets. I will not brush the uncomfortable topics under the rug. He will always have free will, but he will be real-world educated for sure.

I share my mugshot because it’s my story. I thank God for those cuffs, they provided me a start. And I share most importantly because, if you are struggling, here is some proof that RECOVERY IS REAL!

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Monday mornings are generally the worst time of the week. Let’s change that right now. Meet Camron Childs a 19 year old from Portland Oregon. Camron struggled with heroin and crystal meth for the last 6 years. Today, he has 130 days sober.

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I couldn’t stop shooting heroin to save my life. To be honest I had been failing for so long I didn’t even want to live anymore. My mom wasn’t going to settle for that. The first picture of me is when my mom tracked me down and dragged me out of a dope house. As you can see I wasn’t too happy about it. I celebrated 18 months this past January. This is the longest I’ve ever been sober in my life. Thanks for always having my back Mom.

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1 year. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds ago, my life changed FOREVER.

Drug addiction is horrible. I know first hand. But we all, as drug addicts, underestimate the hell out of it. “It won’t ever happen to me,” is what we all think. We’ve read the stories, emotionless, because, “it won’t ever happen to me.” We’ve listened to our loved ones beg us to stop and thought, “it won’t ever happen to me.” We’ve shot up in gas station bathrooms, hit licks, moved dope, and wigged out because, “it won’t ever happen to me” — until it does.

Do you know what happens then? You become a statistic. You become that person who overdosed in a bathroom and an innocent person had to find your lifeless body. You become the boyfriend/father/brother/son who overdosed in a hotel room, in front of people who loved you more than life itself.

Did you want to overdose? OF COURSE NOT! Very few people would actually choose to die from an overdose. Would you have done it if you would have known what would happen? 98% chance, NO.

But here’s the kicker, Garrett snorted ONE fake roxy. It was laced with fentanyl. 365 days ago, our “it won’t ever happened to me” happened to us and it ended in the absolute worst case scenario. We all lost him. To ONE fake pill.

Garrett was Garrett. He knew the ins and outs of the streets and one little blue fake pill fooled him and it cost him his life. If Garrett can become a victim lost to overdose, ANY OF US CAN. It’s not worth it, guys.

Garrett was vibrant. He was funny and sarcastic. He’d give you the shirt off his back and the money in his pocket if you needed it. He was selfless. He loved his kids. He was a genuine, big hearted, attractive GENTLEMAN. He didn’t deserve to die. God, he was the last person who deserved to die that way, but something that we thought could never happen to us, happened.

And it could happen to you too.

So I say this from the bottom of my heart, with everything I have, THESE DRUGS DONT LOVE YOU. GO HOME, YOUR FAMILY IS WAITING!

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For years on end I destroyed my body internally and externally with a needle. Meth and heroin. I got involved with the wrong group of people and I continued to spiral out of control. I lived the life with ample amounts of money and all the bad risks that come with it. For years I destroyed everything and everyone around me including family, my children, and the most important one, myself.

It literally took my father coming into the office finding me near death and having me admitted to a rehab in California. I must say this was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Now I am married. My children love me. My parents accept me and I now love and respect myself. Their is hope. Reach out accept the help because we can never do it alone and god knew I couldn’t this. Christmas I will have 4 years clean. Thank you to everyone who believed in us.

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Throughout my whole childhood I was rejected by all that I came across from elementary through high school due to having torret syndrome… Before I had ever touched drugs or alcohol I wanted to commit suicide in the early years of high school.

Not to long after graduating I began to use drugs and for me it wasn’t something I did because I just wanted to do it, I did it to escape my reality. And at the time my belief was that I’m no good, I was a mistake, no one loved me and no one wanted to be around me. I was an embarrassment to be around. So I used drugs as much as I could to feel better. As time went on I became so dependent on it that I became a thief to support my habit!!

To get more honest I used not only drugs to feel better but I used sex as a means to cope with the rejection I always felt. I did things with not only women but also men Because all I wanted was to feel loved..

Though 2005 and 2010 I gained multiple felonies from drug possession to grand theft. 2010 was my last arrest and I gave my life in surrender to God in the back of a cop car.. Shortly after my release I found myself using again even after falling so in love Jesus. Why? So I then chose to go to a rehab program where I learned about addiction and finding healing from our past. I finally found some real Recovery and I then stayed clean for 4 years and raising a family. Then all of 2018 I began using again. Why? I stopped doing the things that I was taught in recovery. I took my will back.

So today makes 6 months Clean for me… I am more free today than I was in the 4 years I was clean. I use to hate myself and God for all the relapses and the people I hurt but today I see my pain, my misfortunes and my mistakes and failures as stepping stones that has led me to the place of freedom I have today… God bless you guys and this is my story.. All glory goes to God!

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“Hey what’s up my name is Rob. I started getting high when I was 15. I was addicted to heroin, alcohol, and Xanax. In December of 2016 I got sober at the age of 27. Next month I turn 30. Getting clean was the best thing I ever did.”

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Tomorrow my husband and I are seven years clean! We went from making and using meth to being completely clean! We even got custody of his kid. My husband is an inspector over a pipeline company. We’re now in a place where we’re at peace in our lives. We’ve paid off our house and own three vehicles. To some, that’s not a big deal. To us, it’s a miracle.

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My name is Corey and I’m an addict. I’m 28 years old and I’m from Louisville, Kentucky. I have struggled with my addiction from a pretty early age. I seemed to enjoy the effects produced by adderall at the age of 8 years olds, which would only progress to a very dark meth and heroin addiction in my later years. I’ve been hospitalized countless times, been to jail, and lived in hell — literally. I COULD NOT STOP chasing dope for one hour, let alone entertain the thought of going to a detox program. I dragged my family and everyone I loved down with me. Today, I have 61 days free from all mood and mind altering substances. I can finally see a light at the end of my madness with the help of a sponsor and meetings. My record is in the process of being expunged and I’ve started Hep C treatment as a result of that way of life. I’m so grateful and hope this will help anyone still struggling!

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My name is Luke and I’m an addict. My addiction started at the age of 13 when I found out my father was a heroin addict. He died when I was 14 from an overdose and that shook my entire world. I began smoking weed every day because I thought that would heal my pain but of course, it didn’t. In the end, it only lead me down a more dangerous road with harder drugs and worse consequences. After 4 rehabs and multiple hospitalizations, I am sober today at the age of 17. Recovery has given me so much. My family and I are all together again. It took time but after these past few rough years, we all continue to heal from the wreckage of addiction. I couldn’t be more grateful.

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From a very young age, I was sexually abused, and surrounded by domestic violence. Throughout my childhood, I witnessed alcohol and drug abuse. In my teens, I began drinking and falling into bad relationships. For years I moved from home to home. I’ve been raped, bullied, and abused. I was sectioned in a psych hospital for 3 months after having a breakdown. I had to live in a safe house after being attacked and for ten months I fought to get my children back due to my struggles with mental health.

I never gave up. I worked on myself bit by bit. I cut out alcohol, cigarettes, bad food, destructive lifestyle, and started to research and practice the power of positive thinking. I used therapy to overcome the very problems that put me into self-destruction mode. I used modeling and fitness to keep me focused and to bring the love back to myself. Today, the war is over. I am super healthy and training to be a life coach and mentor for people with substance abuse and mental health problems. If I can do it so can others.

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On the left is my mugshot that Fox News was lovely enough to air in 2016. I had been young and successful as a nurse. I bought my first home at 20. A great career. What should have been a life I appreciated. But depression, anxiety, and ultimately drug addiction took hold.

My patients never went without, but neither did I. The monitoring at my work was so poor that I could take as much Dilaudid as I pleased without raising any flags — and I did. I was so dependent on the stuff. I was shooting up multiple times a day just to get by without getting dope sick. I was living a literal nightmare and faking my way through it. I finally got caught. I couldn’t take the publicity of it all. My shame was on TV for god’s sake! It was out there for all the world to see and judge. I tried to end it, unsuccessfully.

I went through my trial for a year. I got treatment for addiction and depression, got on the right meds, made it through my house arrest, and began chipping away at my probation. I was even able to keep my nursing license with a 5 year monitoring contract. I’m back to work now. It’s not my ideal job yet, but I’m paying my dues for my mistakes. I’m just grateful for the support of my local nursing community and my friends and family. I’m grateful for my attempt at ending my own life failed. It gets better. It gets easier. 3 years of sobriety for a guy who thought he’d be long dead by now. My mental health is in check too. Everything that looked so hopeless just a short time ago is slowly falling back into place

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The picture on the left is a lost, hopeless, helpless and broken woman. I was too scared to live but too scared to die. When my sponsor sent me this picture I literally didn’t even recognise myself! My eyes filled up with tears because I remember feeling worthless and not wanting to live. The picture on the right is me today, coming up on nine months sober! I never imagined my life to be so beautiful, happy, joyous, and free! I am here sober today only by the grace of God, my sponsor, and this 12 step program!

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I was blown out of my mind when this was taken. Heroin and crack was all I knew. I fought myself to have the guts to post this terrible picture, but if it can help someone in active addiction to seek help, then I’ll cut my losses. I was about 19 or 20 here. Full blown addiction, homeless, a fiend, a thief, a child, and scared. This was immediately after one of my many close calls with an overdose that I was usually proud of. Today is a little different. Today, I am 15 years clean.

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Hey my name is Amanda and I’m an addict. In 2014 I was in a car accident and prescribed Percocet. This is the beginning of my story but thankfully not the end. For four years my drug of choice was IV cocaine and heroin. Throughout my active addiction I overdosed five times and had to sign over custody of my son to my mother. For many years I was homeless in the streets of Camden New Jersey. Today, I am the happiest recovering addict in the world. I made a wish and it came true. For years I didn’t know my son, but today I have 18 months clean. So good afternoon Facebook, I would like you to meet my son Declan.

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I remember each and every rehab I went to. I can remember every halfway house I was kicked out of. I can remember every time I was locked up. I can remember lying and stealing from the people who loved me the most because I knew they would forgive me. I can remember doing whatever it took to stay high. I can remember, through all the heartache I caused everyone around me, I never claimed to have a problem. I was a victim of circumstance!

I choose to remember all this because I never want to forget what it feels like to be on the bottom of the bottom. I never want to forget where I came from. I never want to live in that denial because I never want to go back!

Today I celebrate 7 years of continuous sobriety. I’m grateful for the good days. I’m grateful for the bad days. And I’m grateful for every person that gave me a chance that I didn’t deserve. I’m grateful to be alive.

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I was a 15-year-old teen just trying to be “cool” and “fit in” with my so-called friends. I had no idea what heroin even was, let alone what it would cause my life to become. Before I knew it drugs took my life away, and every day was a constant struggle. I would do anything to get my fix and then be forced to worry about how I was going to do it all again tomorrow. I needed to hit rock bottom before I could recover and finally, I did. I was arrested and brought to the county jail where I went through withdrawals in a jail cell alone with no one but myself. I went directly from jail to a treatment center and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to recover. Today, I have two and a half years clean and I couldn’t be more grateful for another chance at life!

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Six years clean today. What started out as a “punishment” and a “curse” has turned into one of the biggest gifts that my God has ever given me. There’s so much to say but I’ll just say this-miracles happen. From the girl that always had a drink or a pipe in her hand (or both!) to a woman who is a productive member of society, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a dog mom, a partner, and so much more… I am grateful today that recovery was accessible when I needed it and didn’t even want it yet. Today I can say I want it and I am surrounded by love everywhere I go. Thank you to all the fellowships, therapists, and people who turned this scared little girl into the woman I am today. I am blessed.

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I’m Tiffani and I have nearly 4 years sober. I turned to drugs in my late teens after suffering many years from mental illness. My life continued into a downward spiral from trying new drugs, co-dependent relationships, and homelessness until I was finally arrested. I have remained sober since the day I was arrested and have slowly began to achieve my goals and dreams ever since. I am now a wife and a mother to a sweet baby girl. I will soon be a college graduate and my mental health is finally stable. I am thriving and loving life but my journey isn’t over yet. I’ll keep moving forward. Can’t stop, won’t stop

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This is what addiction looks like on the left. It’s ugly, it’s embarrassing, and it’s HARD to look at—but it’s real and it’s closer than you can ever imagine. On the right, this is what recovery looks like. It’s beautiful, confident, ambitious, and strong! It’s being able to look back at pictures like this and WANT BETTER. It’s never giving up even though the demons still try to win everyday.

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The first pic is my mugshot. For years I was strung out on Oxycodone. The rest are of me today. I recently celebrated one year clean. I will forever choose sobriety and my child over getting high. My life is beautiful. I never want to live that life again. I definitely don’t think I have it beat, it’s a fight everyday. But everyday I wake up, I choose sobriety. My life couldn’t be more beautiful! I hope this inspires someone! If I can do it, you can too!

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Just wanted to share some hope on this holiday. 913 days ago I was homeless, beat down, unhappy and accepted a life of misery and chaos. Jan 2, 2017, I chose to do something different. I took my life back and decided that God wanted more for me. I took suggestions, got a sponsor, got a home group, did 90 in 90 and started doing service work. I began to learn how to love myself. Over time, I found my higher power who I call God and he has helped me sustain my recovery for 913 days. I have a life today that I couldn’t have even imagined two and a half years ago. I work as a counselor for a substance use and mental health provider. I get to help support individuals on their road to recovery. I get to give back what was so freely given to me. That, for me is hope.

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“I was an addict, I say was, because I have different beliefs than most. I believe you can be recovered. I have just over 5 years clean. I just want people to know we can recover.”

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Today marks A YEAR AND A HALF of sobriety due to God, sponsorship, the 12 steps and people in recovery without any of this it wouldn’t be possible. If you’re struggling please reach out!

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I am where I am because I choose to be. Coincidence or chance has not continued to keep me clean and sober, that choice was mine but could not have been sustained without the unwavering help and support of those around me.

I share this unsightly photo not to show where the depths of my addiction had taken me one year ago today, but to show where I am one year later…

Today I choose to be sober.

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My name is Merissa and I’m an addict. I was once told I would never get custody of my children back from the state. I couldn’t accept that so I fought and I fought hard. I fought so hard that miracles happened. I transformed from a junkie to a mother in recovery. I got custody of my children again. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been revived with narcan, and I’ve been in jail as a result of my addiction. But that was the old me. Today, I have 2 1/2 years sober. We do recover.

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They say it is RARE that couples who use together are able to get clean and STAY together. The statistics may be low but it is possible. My fiancé and I are living proof!

We met on December 11th, 2014. We were both homeless—injecting Heroin and Methamphetamine. We entered a detox facility on December 26th, 2015. After 5 days of detox, we then were transferred to a residential treatment center TOGETHER! We graduated from that 90-day program, completed an outpatient aftercare program, and then moved into sober living. We are coming up on 4 years of 100% complete sobriety.

I want our story to be an inspiration for all of the addicts who are still suffering. I want you ALL to know that if we can do it you can too. Don’t be a statistic, fight and fight HARD. Life is waiting for you!

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My name is Aly and I am an addict. 2 years ago me and my fiancé started smoking meth and heroin. I was arrested on May 31st 2018 for 5 different drug charges. I weighed 135lb and was skin and bone. I am a year and a half clean off meth and heroin. I have my son back and I’m doing absolutely fantastic!!!

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The photo on the left is my second arrest only 20 days after I just did 6 months in jail. As you can see from my booking photo, I hit the ground running. I was struggling with heroin and methamphetamine. In the last year I caught 9 charges. I did 212 days in the county jail and by the grace of god I was placed into an inpatient rehab. I’m 100% sure that saved my life. The right photo is me today and I have been sober for almost 7 MONTHS now! I am free and I couldn’t be more proud! The day I took the right photo, I was waiting on my ride to go to a NA meeting. I work the 12 steps with my sponsor, attend meetings regularly, and pray daily! If i can do it, anyone can!

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I almost lost my life to heroin and meth addiction. Today I am over 3 years clean, but I will never be cured. The lie is dead, we do recover!

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went from heroin and multiple overdoses to methamphetamine when I was 20. I went to prison when I was 21 for robbery and back 5 times for parole violations. I couldn’t quit using the needle, even in prison, so I would get out strung out and not report to parole. I would be on the run immediately. I was finally offered treatment and starting listening. I started realizing I had a disease that I had to fight. Today I fight my disease by utilizing people instead of using them. I work steps and have a sponsor and sponsees. I have 355 days clean, my one year is October 3rd 2019.

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Today is my two year anniversary of getting sober from heroin. That mugshot was from a time when I truly did not care if I overdosed. I didn’t care that I would be leaving behind my twelve year old daughter. All I cared about was getting more.

When I got arrested that day, I had not showered in almost three weeks. I had not brushed my teeth in even longer, and who knows the last time I had washed my hair. Despite all of that, I was still utterly ashamed to admit I was an addict. I literally never told a soul, for fear of their judgement and pity.

But now I remember where I came from. I remember what the throws of addiction felt like; that cycle of making completely insane things sane and part of everyday life. Now I am proud of how far I’ve come. I’m happy that I didn’t end up like both of my roommates from that time. They have both passed away, one of endocarditis and the other from a sepsis-induced heart attack. Both as a result from using, within four months of each other, and both gone far, far too young.

I am a survivor. I am thriving. I am so grateful and appreciative of where I am today. I took on the world, and it kicked my ass. But my story continues, with an ending that will be a happily ever after.. after all.

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“MUST READ” I usually don’t speak about how long we have been clean and I don’t want a pat on the back either but I thought to myself maybe I should for the ppl who are scrolling through their phones dope sick or in active addiction, a year ago today me and my wife made a decision we had enough. We lost all our morals family kids houses cars..etc.. and were homeless. Nothing or no one could stop us except us. The picture to your left is the exact day we decided to turn ourselves in and get clean. The picture to the right is us now. Today we have everything and everyone back in our lives that we lost over the years and then some. We were homeless a year ago, and now we are about to buy a house. That would have been hard to imagine last year but today, it’s a reality. I am grateful for all the bulls**t that I have been through because without the bulls**t I wouldn’t be as motivated as I am today there was a point that we had thought that wasn’t possible well I’m here to say that’s not true. Today we have 1 year CLEAN and to some people that might not seem like a long time, but to the people I’m speaking to that doesn’t seem tangible sh*t there was a time that I couldn’t stay clean 20 min but I’m here today to tell you that you too can do it. We are proof that you can. There is a 30 year story behind both of our addictions but that’s too much so I’m just gonna keep it simple..

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Three years clean from one of the darkest drugs on this earth — crystal meth. I remember trying everything possible to make myself feel normal on the outside, but on the inside I was killing myself. By the strength and grace of god, I found recovery. Nobody could help me until I finally wanted help. I finally chose that help. I chose to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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I remember always sitting in the same place on the floor at the edge of my bed, day and night, I will never let go of that pipe. Without realising the days, the months, the years will go by. I wanted to believe crystal meth was no longer affecting my body, but I will not sleep, I will be awake up to 5 days. I will moved from one place to another. I couldn’t stay still and I spoke 100 miles per hour. I didn’t want anyone to interrupt my world, where only the pipe and I will exist.

But that pipe took so much from me. It took everything. It was a demon that didn’t want to let me go. It took 5 years of my life. I was not there when my son took his first steps, nor when he said his first word. I missed 5 Christmases, 5 Mother’s Days, and 5 Father’s Days. I did not attend family gatherings. It stole my soul. It removed my feelings. It blocked my goals and dreams.

I remember so clearly the last time I had a pipe in my hand. It was a morning that I had that terrible accident where I was so close to death, but that accident changed my life. God opened the way for me to get out of that hell and I never went back. That same morning I decide to return home. We were heading home with my father in his white work truck, and I remember so clearly when I took the pipe in my hand and threw it out the window and never saw one again. My life began to change. I started to be part of my son’s life. I have seen him grow. Now, I buy gifts for Christmas. I am the one who organizes the celebrations of the year. Now I love family gatherings with good coffee and good long conversations. I recovered my feelings and my soul. I accomplished goals and I have dreams to fulfill. Today I have control of my life. I have 11 years sober. I am drug-free and God changed the end of my story.

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My name is Morgan and I’m an addict. After being in and out of rehabs and detox’s, this is what it finally took. I had overdosed a handful of times before this but this particular time I woke up in the hospital the next day with tubes down my throat and restraints on my arms. The picture on the left was taken last April and the picture on the right was taken today. What a difference a year makes. Grateful to say I have not had the urge to use since then, and truly blessed to be here today to share my story.

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I didn’t think one line of heroin would be any different than a pain pill. I didn’t know one line could love me more than I loved me. Heroin became my best friend and my worst enemy. It took everything from me—but kept me too numb to even care. I weighed less than 90 pounds. It made me selfish, nothing else mattered besides going to get my next high. I lost my kids to heroin.

I think a lot of mom’s make the excuse that “I can’t leave my kids to go to rehab.” But in fact, what good was I to them as a Mom while I was using? What good am I to them in a jail cell, or dead? In rehab, I learned how to live life again without getting high, and through that process I found myself. I put my kids through enough, they deserved the mom I should have always been.

A little over a year later I have transformed from 90 lbs to 142 lbs. My family trusts me again. I know who I am. I have found peace with myself and my past. I am in my children’s lives. Today, I love me.

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This was me 5 years ago. Lost everything! I went to a 12 month Christian recovery program where I found out I was pregnant! My dream to be a mother came true! I am living proof that change is possible! It’s been a long struggle but life has never been better! Though we fall down, we keep getting back up!

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This past December, my daughter nodded out high on Fentanyl and caused a horrific four car accident. Instead of lying and being defensive, she owned up to what she had done to her family, daughter, and the people she crashed into. She is once again my sweet, beautiful, smart daughter. She now has a cute house, a very nice job making great money, a brand new relationship with her family, her daughter, a new car, and a whole new perspective on life. She is coming up on a year clean and we couldn’t be more proud of her!

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This is a photo of me in 2016, amidst a domestic violence relationship, consuming commercial quantities of ice every day. I was alone, ashamed, depressed and I had just lost my dad. The next photo is of me with 16 months clean, graduating from loss, grief, and trauma counseling. I am now studying for my master’s degree in social work. I hope to send the message of strength and resilience to everyone out there. You can do this, when life throws you to the wolves, come back the leader of the pack. If I can do, you can too!

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I am three years clean and sober from opiates and meth. I now work at Lab Corp as a phlebotomist. God saved me. Recovery is possible.

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Meth took everything from me. My job, my house, and my daughter. But next month, by the grace of God and the support of my family and true friends- I will be clean for 2 years.

-Jessica MS 33 y/o

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From prison to purpose! 5 years ago today, I walked out of prison. Never could I have imagined the path of destruction that was waiting for me. I thought hell was barbed wire, no visits, no phone calls and my ex cheating on me while being locked up. I was wrong. The pain and the heart breaks that laid in wait, was hell. Hell was the day I found crack. Today, I found love, true love. I found true friendships. I made amends to those I never thought would ever speak to me again. I found strength I never knew I had. I found AA, recovery, and freedom from the inside out. Today, I help others get out of prison everyday in there minds. I share my experience, strength and hope. I am happy, I laugh, have fun, and enjoy life. I am responsible and people enjoy my company. I am an employee of good standing. I am a friend and a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a cousin, and a girlfriend today. I show up today, even when no one showed up for me in prison. Today, I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I am free and the best part — I found me and my purpose!!

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So this is my story. I was a heroin, cocaine, crack addict for almost 20 years. I let a friend talk me into trying drugs at the age of 30. The biggest mistake I ever made. I became an addict immediately. I was always chasing the drug while my children who were in their early teens tried to fend for themselves. I was homeless numerous times and my kids went to live with another relative. I was all about my needs and ignored my kid’s needs. My children grew up and still chose to check on me. I finally hit rock bottom and called my oldest son to come and get me. I told him I wanted to go to rehab. I promised him I would do it and stay clean. Both my sons got together and helped me get into rehab. I am proud to say that I am 6 years clean and thank my sons and God every day for giving me another chance. I still have a hard time forgiving myself for treating my sons like that. Now that I’m sober and think about it, it breaks my heart knowing that I was so selfish. I have a close bond with both my sons. They are both my world and so are my grandchildren!

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I’ve went back and fourth with posting this. I decided that I’d post it because I’m so grateful for today. 50 days ago, I was begging God to take my pain away. I had absolutely no will to live. Drugs consumed my every thought. I gave away everything for something that wanted to make me suffer, over and over again. Well thank God or whatever is up there for giving me countless chances. I needed to be so empty and broken to get to where I am right now. Not everyday is good but every day I’m clean and sober is better than any day when I was out there using. Never lose hope and keep fighting. You’re so worth it!

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I wanted to kill my self that evening, but I could not pull the trigger. So, I shot enough heroin and speed to kill a horse. Fortunately, my higher power had other plans for me. I am so thankful for another chance to rebuild my life. We do recover!

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I have been clean and sober for 2.5 years now since May 13th 2017. They say, as addicts, the people we hurt the most are the ones we love and no one knows why. But for me I’m grateful I had the person that I love be hurt and still stick by my side. Now with a two year old son and my whole life ahead of me, I have never felt better in my whole life. Nothing or no one could ever make me hurt the people that I love again. And as for my son, well kid I love you and your mother more than words can explain — and I’m so very happy I get to see your smile everyday of my life. And thank you Addict’s Diary for letting me get this out there. With much gratitude for every person that stuck by my side, I love you all!

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Congratulations to this miracle, recovering addict, and most importantly great friend of mine. Today makes 4 years clean for Michael.

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I started using opiates in 2016 and then started speedballing in 2017, I spent 4 years in active addiction and weighed roughly 110lbs, I went to treatment and found the help I desperately needed. Today I have a higher power and I have my true happiness back. I wouldn’t trade the life I have now for any substance in the world.

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Thank you lord for all my friends and family who have supported me throughout my life. This pic is from 2009 when I was an active heroin junkie. I was so lost and dead inside. I struggled to maintain a healthy life after my deployment to Iraq in 07-08. Although I have been off the needle since 2012, I still struggled with alcohol, pills, and meth. I have now been clean since February 2017. God has a plan for me and I’m choosing his path daily. I’m not ashamed of my past because it has led me to where I am today. Although I’m not always proud of my past, it has taught me all the lessons I needed in order to be successful today. I’m thankful to have my family’s support, my friends, my God, and my sobriety. God bless!

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So my dad was in and out of prison my whole life and I pretty much followed his steps. At 12, I was smoking pot and got arrested for shoplifting. At 14, I went to juvie for a residential burglary. At 16, my dad introduced me to meth and started sexually abusing me. At 18, I went to prison for the first of what would be 10 years in and out of prison. In the before photo, I was 23 years old in Folsom state prison, member of a racial prison gang and had just started using a needle to do meth. By 28, I had 5 prison terms and countless violations. Then I hit my rock bottom, I spent the night in a broken down car on motel drive with a needle in my arm. I couldn’t stand living anymore and I didn’t have the balls to kill myself. I cried out to whatever god was out there to save me. An answer showed up within hours in the form of a tow truck driver/ mechanic that had been called to get rid of my car. He was a graduate of Teen Challenge. He witnessed to me and helped get me into a TC rehab center 4 hours away. Getting into a relationship with Jesus has radically transformed my life. Today, 4 years later I am the co-ministry leader of a celebrate recovery group. I host a recovery podcast called ‘redefine recovery’. I am almost a pastor, having graduated from ministry school and currently working at my church while finishing the licensing process. This past year I went to Africa and told my story in a number of prisons there.

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I was hopelessly strung out on heroin and meth for a long time. I didn’t care if I lived or died. I truly hit bottom. I have tried to get sober so many times that I lost count. This time, it’s been different. I’m so grateful for my higher power and my family for not giving up on me. I just felt the need to share this photo. I want to help other people that are hurting like I was. Please don’t give up!

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