Several in recovery show us before and after pictures of what it was like and what it's like now.
This article originally appeared at thesun.co.uk
THESE shocking photos lay bare the reality of drug and alcohol addiction.
They have been shared online by recovering addict Trevor Skrocki, via his Instagram page Skab_365, to show not only the devastating impact of the lifestyle but also the stunning transformation once users quit.
Trevor, who battled issues with prescription medication and alcohol, hopes that posting the pictures will inspire others who are struggling.
He told The Sun Online: “When I first got sober, I wanted everybody to know what I was doing.
“I told my family and friends. I wanted that support, and I think some of these people may not have the support that I had, or may just want more.
“Some may just want to show others their progress in life. Some may want notoriety in the world in recovery.
“Whatever the case may be, it all comes down to one common factor: recovery is possible.”
Trevor, from Massachusetts, traces his addiction battle back to when he first drank alcohol and smoked marijuana at the age of 14.
At first he’d drink only at the weekend. Although he regularly blacked out and his tolerance grew, he doesn’t think alcohol was a problem when he was at high school.
He explained: “My actual addiction to drugs started in my early twenties when I had surgery on my back.
“I received Percocet [a combination pain reliever which includes opiates] for pain and I grew a love toward the drug shortly after.
“One day I was home by myself and decided to crush up the pill and snort it, not knowing it would carry on to a full blown addiction.”
At first Trevor got by by asking his doctor for new prescriptions.
Eventually the medic refused, leaving Trevor suffering such extreme withdrawal that he couldn’t sleep or eat, and began biting his tongue and scratching his skin.
He started stealing so he could buy pills of OxyContin, synthetic heroin, on the streets.
Trevor also drank to boost his high, with this cycle going on for two years.
After graduating from college in 2008, Trevor went home for Christmas.
He explained: “My parents found a lot of money missing and suspicion turned my way.
“I felt like I couldn’t hide my disease anymore so I gave in.
“I went to detox and got clean. But I came out five days later thinking that I didn’t have a drinking problem. I was wrong.
“I drank every day for three years.
“I soon turned into a functioning alcoholic and was beginning my day by drinking seven nips of 100-proof [50% abv] liquor.
“I could drink up to a litre of 100-proof liquor a day.”
Trevor received two DUIs, but even his brushes with the law weren’t enough to make him quit the booze.
Doctors even told him his stomach was in such bad shape he would die if he continued drinking at the same rate, but he still couldn’t give up.
Eventually Trevor ended up in court for violating his probation, and he decided to take the opportunity when he was offered a detox program.
That was on November 25, 2012, and Trevor has been sober ever since.
He began to write about his life, resulting in his memoir SKAB: Skin And Bones With A Few Ounces Of Courage.
Trevor used social media to help him during his recovery, visiting pages about sobriety.
After making a name for himself he wrote his second book SKAB: Skin And Bones With A Few Closed Wounds, which is about his efforts to help six people dealing with addiction.
Now people regularly message Trevor to talk about recovery, and helping them keeps him in check too.
He said: “I do my best to help others and that’s what is also helping me sustain my recovery as well.
“I never want to ruin my image. I don’t want to let all of these people relying on me down. It’s a sense of relief to be in this situation I’m in.”
People have previously shared astonishing before-and-after drug addiction photos on Reddit, and one mum was open about her battle with heroin to show others what recovery can look like.