Faces of Addiction: Before & After Photos

In a world where image and appearance play a significant role, it is essential to understand the profound impact that substance abuse can have on our physical appearance.

Beyond the immediate health risks, drug abuse can subtly transform our outer appearance. The faces of addiction sometimes serve as a visible reflection of the toll it takes on our bodies. From changes in skin tone and texture to weight fluctuations, dental issues, hair and nail problems, and more, the effects of drug and alcohol addiction on our physical selves are both diverse and significant. These changes are most visible when looking at photos of people before and after drugs.

Our Addiction Treatment Programs

Take back the faces of addiction at The Hope House

Cocaine abuse can have a number of negative short term effects on your appearance, primarily around the eyes, including:

  • Bloodshot/dilated eyes: Cocaine constricts the blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause them to become bloodshot. The pupil may also become dilated and sensitive to light, leading to abnormal wearing of sunglasses. This is often called “cocaine eyes” and is a common side effect of cocaine use, even in people who only use it occasionally.
  • Retracted eyelids: Cocaine can also cause the eyelids to retract, making the eyes appear larger. This is another common side effect of cocaine use, and it can be a sign of addiction.
  • Sunken eyes: Cocaine use can also cause the eyes to appear sunken. This is because cocaine can cause dehydration, which can lead to the loss of fat and muscle in the face.
  • Wrinkles: Cocaine use can also accelerate the aging process, leading to the development of wrinkles and other signs of aging. This is because cocaine can damage the collagen and elastin in the skin, which are responsible for keeping the skin looking young and elastic.
  • Acne: When cocaine stays in your system, it can also cause acne. This is because cocaine can increase the production of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.
  • Dental problems: Cocaine use can also cause a number of dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. This is because cocaine can dry out the mouth, which can make it difficult to brush teeth and floss properly. Cocaine can also damage the enamel on teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.
  • Hair Loss: Cocaine can often lead to insufficient nutrients which ultimately leads to the decline of the entire body and may cause hair loss. Stress from continually being high and then going through cocaine withdrawals can also cause hair loss from cocaine abuse.

Overcome cocaine addiction at The Hope House

Alcohol abuse can have a number of physical changes on the body. These changes can range from mild to severe, and they can occur over long term use or suddenly. Some of the most common physical effects of alcohol abuse include:

  • Weight Changes: Alcohol is high in calories, but it does not provide any nutrients. This can lead to weight loss, especially if the person is not eating a balanced diet. Additionally, it can lead to weight gain, especially in the gut.
  • Changes in the Skin: Alcohol can dry out the skin and make it more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging. It can also cause acne, rosacea (redness), and other skin problems due to dehydration and inflammation.
  • Hair Loss: Alcohol can damage the hair follicles and cause alcohol-related hair loss. It can also make the hair dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage.
  • Brittle Nails: Alcohol can damage the nails and make them more brittle. It can also cause the nails to discolor and become ridged.

Get sober from alcohol at The Hope House

Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive stimulant drug that can have a devastating impact on a person’s physical appearance. Some of the most common negative physical effects of meth use include:

  • Weight loss: Meth addiction can suppress appetite, leading to rapid weight loss. This can give meth users a gaunt, skeletal appearance.
  • Skin problems: Meth can cause dry, sagging skin, acne, and sores.
  • Teeth problems: Meth can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. This is often referred to as “meth mouth.”
  • Eye problems: Meth can cause dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes, and dark circles under the eyes.
  • Hair loss: Meth abusers can experience hair loss, especially on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
  • Overall aging: Meth can accelerate the aging process, causing wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of premature aging.

The severity of these physical effects can vary depending on the length of time a person has been using meth, the amount of meth they use, and their overall health. In some cases, the physical damage caused by meth use can be permanent.

Conquer meth addiction at The Hope House

Heroin can stay in your system for around 2 to 3 days upon use, it is a powerful opioid drug that can have a number of negative effects on the body, including physical appearance. Some of the most common physical appearance changes caused by heroin use include:

  • Pinpoint pupils: Heroin use can cause the pupils to become constricted and appear smaller than normal. This is because heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which can cause the pupils to contract.
  • Weight loss: Heroin use can cause weight loss, as it can suppress the appetite and lead to malnutrition. This is because heroin can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate metabolism and energy levels.
  • Pale skin: Heroin use can cause the skin to appear pale, as it can reduce blood flow to the surface of the skin. This is because heroin can constrict blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the skin.
  • Sagging skin: Heroin use can cause the skin to appear saggy and wrinkled, as it can accelerate the aging process. This is because heroin can damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that give the skin its elasticity and strength.
  • Acne: Heroin use can cause acne, as it can increase the production of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores. This is because heroin can disrupt the body’s natural oil production.
  • Track marks: Heroin users who inject the drug may develop track marks, which are scars or indentations on the skin that are caused by repeated injections. Track marks can be a sign of heroin addiction.

To address the negative consequences of heroin use, it is essential for individuals struggling with addiction to seek professional help and treatment.

Stop using heroin for good at The Hope House

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. While its primary use is as a prescription medication for pain management, it has also gained notoriety as a recreational drug due to its potent effects. Unfortunately, the use and abuse of fentanyl can have significant repercussions on both your physical and overall appearance.

  • Skin changes: The effects of fentanyl in your system can cause noticeable paleness, dry, flaky skin, and acne or other skin blemishes due to various symptoms of the drug.
  • Weight fluctuations: Fentanyl can suppress appetite, leading to significant weight loss over time. It can also lead to individuals seeking comfort food to alleviate symptoms.
  • Dental problems: General lack of hygiene can lead to poor oral hygiene. Dry mouth, teeth grinding, and cravings for sugary substances are also common side effects that can result in tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Hair and nails: Prolonged fentanyl use can disrupt the natural growth cycle of hair follicles. The addictive opioid can also weaken the health of your nails, making them more prone to breakage, peeling, and discoloration.
  • Eye Health: Fentanyl can interfere with sleep patterns and cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to dark circles under the eyes and bloodshot, red eyes.

Treating fentanyl addiction requires a comprehensive approach addressing both its physical and cosmetic impacts. Medical professionals often employ a combination of therapies to help individuals combat the drug’s effects on their skin, weight, dental health, hair, nails, and overall appearance.

Overcome fentanyl addiction at The Hope House

While some of the physical effects before and after drugs can be lasting, many can be corrected in recovery treatment programs. Finding a program that incorporates nutrition and physical wellness (like exercise, yoga, and massage) coupled with mental wellness, individuals can find lifelong success and leave the faces of addiction in the past.

Reach out to The Hope House addiction specialists to learn how you or your loved one can overcome substance abuse in a luxury setting with masters-level clinicians.

Find long term recovery at The Hope House