‘The Addict’s Diary’: 30 Powerful Before & After Transformations Of Drug Addicts (New Stories)

The Addict’s Diary is a platform through which people who have been affected by substance abuse can share their story, experience catharsis, and find a sense of community while informing others about the realities of this epidemic.

They also often add pictures, taken before and after they kicked the habit. The ‘before’ photos (often mugshots) show open facial sores, glazed eyes, emaciation, and misery. But the ‘after’ ones reveal cleaner skin, fuller cheeks, and, best of all, honest smiles.

Continue scrolling to check out these inspirational posts and if you would like to see more when you’re done, have a look at Bored Panda’s earlier articles on The Addict’s Diary here, here, and here.

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18 months ago, the internet was making fun of the mugshot of Mighty Ducks star Shaun Weiss. Today, Shaun graduated drug court and has 18 months clean and sober. The problem is, you won’t see this shared as many times as his downfall. Let’s try and change that!

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


From a 98lb crystal meth addict doing the unthinkable to fuel my addiction, escaping jail just to get high and becoming a fugitive on Hawaii’s Most Wanted I hit rock bottom and my future seemed doomed. Everyone gave up on me including myself. Because of my crimes that were fueled by my crystal meth addiction I ended up doing 10 years in a high custody prison. I am free going on 7 years and I now own my own business and I’ve become a motivational speaker. In my 7 years of freedom I spoke to over 150 schools and when I speak to these kids I share with them the dangers of drugs and incarceration. I share my haunting past to influence them to make the right choices. If I can save 1 child from not doing drugs my mission is a success. My name is Kyle and this is my COMEBACK.

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“How about that for motivation? I honestly thought I’d die on a park bench with a needle in my arm or by gunshot to the head. I would’ve never in a million years thought my life would look the way it does today.
Stop selling yourself short. You don’t know what tomorrow might bring so you might consider starting today.”

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My story isn’t uncommon. Several surgeries led to a raging opiate pain medication addiction that ruled my world for 12 years. I watched my entire life burn to the ground around me and everything I loved disappear.
I wanted to get clean but couldn’t stand the withdrawal. It took over a decade to realize that I could get clean, I just couldn’t get clean and be comfortable at the same time.
2/23/2016 was the last time I used opiates. There’s so much happiness in sobriety. Much love

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Heroin destroyed my life. From the moment I tried it I was hooked. All I cared about was getting that warm rush. I didn’t care about what I looked like, or who I was hurting. I didn’t even care about myself. Two months ago I went to treatment and now I’m in a sober living. Today, I have 53 days sober— and I am thriving. I feel so much happier without the chaos drugs brought into my life!

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


We’ve been thru hell and back but my son has 6 months clean and I’m so proud of him.

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For 15 years all I cared about was getting high. I I lost custody of my children, was arrested, and found myself homeless in the end. After many failed attempts at treatment in 2016 something stuck. Today makes 5 years clean for me! Recovery has given me the opportunity to go from a meth addict to a productive member of society working in healthcare.

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I am never looking back. Thank God for recovery!

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My name is Jess and I am an addict. I struggled with meth for 5 years. I thought I had no hope. I destroyed my body for a peace of mind I never got. But God seen fit to pull me out of the darkness and I have been sober since December 19, 2019. I get to live a life I never dreamed was possible for me! Life is so beautiful today and I’m even grateful for my past because I can use it to help other women recover! I went from “I want to die” to “let me show you another way of life!”
Thank you for letting me share my story!

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Five years ago today, I knew the war was over. The drugs had won, and I had lost…. everything.
I surrendered and chose recovery. I found a new way to live. Thank you God for this beautiful life.
We can and we do recover.

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My name is Bryan, and I’m an addict. Like most people I started with OxyContin. Where I lived we called it “hillbilly heroin.” Once they cut the pill mills off I fell even further down, and so began my 15 year heroin addiction. I was once married with a family and a home, heroin took that from me. I’ve been incarcerated multiple times in multiple states. I pushed my parents away. I’ve overdosed multiple times. And in the end—I didn’t care if I lived or died. Out of desperation I decided to try treatment again. I went against my own sick know it all type of thinking for once. I got into fitness. I worked on building up my mind, my body, and most importantly my spirit. I’m proud to say I have 6 months clean now. My parents are back in my life, and I’m learning to love Bryan again.

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Hi my name is Ryan and I have been to 30 plus treatments and detox’s, 10 overdoses, long term mandated therapeutic alternative to prison, jails, kidney failure and dialysis in the icu for 22 days and 3 major surgeries after nodding out on my arm and leg for 13 hours. Today I have 6 months sober. I swear if I can do it you can. Never give up. Who cares what they say.

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My name Marilyn and I’m an addict. I struggled with crack cocaine addiction for most of my life. I have been in and out of institutions, jails, and prisons. I’ve been a prostitute. I’ve left my children. I stole from my family. On February 23, 2018 I lost my son. Then I lost myself.He was brutally murdered and I lost myself. For 33 years I just wanted one more hit. For 33 years it was always, “I’ll get help tomorrow.” On March 23, 2021 I finally had enough and went into treatment. I could not take the pain of degrading myself one more second. I surrendered and gave it all to God. Today, I allow him to lead and guide me. Today, I live in a sober living environment. Today, I work the steps. Today, I have a sponsor and I talk about my problems. Today, I live life on life’s terms without the use of drugs. Today, I am 124 days clean.

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60 days clean off Fentanyl, can I get an Amen?

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My name is Nick and I am an addict. I spent a long time trapped inside the cage of addiction and I never thought I would be able to pull myself out. I was hopeless, broke, lonely and sometimes homeless. I lost everything to this disease. My father committed suicide a year and a half ago and after that I didn’t want to live anymore. After I lost my dad I just kept losing and losing until I had nothing left to lose. I was beaten down, weak and desperate for a better life. I left my life in NJ behind and started a new one in South Florida. Next week I’ll have a year sober. Today I have my family back in my life, my nieces and nephews who are so happy I’m doing better, a sober woman who loves me, a great career doing what I love and most of all i am sober, and happy. Recovery is possible though the steps, hard work and dedication. If you are struggling and think there is no way out, just take a look at me, there is hope and there is a way out. Sobriety was the best thing I could ever do for myself.

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


Want to see the miracles God can perform? Just look at the proof in these pictures!
Years of addiction, homelessness and pain! Now, 4 months of recovery and Jesus!

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I started doing drugs when I was 14. Then years later is when I started going to the doctor for anxiety & back pain, I was prescribed lortab & colozapam, that’s when I got strung out & my doctor finally cut me off. Me & my kids living situation went downhill & we ended up with nowhere to live so I ended having to let them go live with their grandmother until I got stable but that didn’t happen, I was so lost being without my kids that I handled it the only way that I knew how to at the time, I used drugs all the time to numb myself from everything that was going on around me, I almost died when I was 25 years old from drugs but that wasn’t enough to wake me up, things just got worse, I started using meth (iv user) & all the pills that I could find & buy off the street, I was drunk alot too when I couldn’t find anything else. I was still miserable & depressed & everything that was going on was still there at the end of everyday, I decided 3 years ago to be present in my life & my children’s lives, I found sobriety & things really started happening for me when I got sober, my life started getting better & better, I love my life today, I married the love of my life & get to spend time with my kids & I get to have them come stay with me all the time & I have a step baby that I love like my own, I have a family, a job, a nice car & a cute little house, I’m so blessed & I thank God that i made it out of addiction alive.

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I celebrated my first 365 ever yesterday! I have literally been trying for over four years to get a a year of continuous sobriety. This past year, I’ve paid off my debt, saved money, bought a car, and got my own place. These things haven’t kept me sober but the peace and serenity that I’ve found has. This next year I have new goals… I want to enjoy life to the fullest, take walks, hang out more with friends and family, read books, practice meditation, get a sponsee through the steps, etc etc. My goal is to stop and smell the roses and find gratitude in the little things. I want to remember each day how good life is now!

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Hey my name is David and I’m an addict. I became addicted to Meth at the age of 19 and it drove my life into the ground. I lost a lot of friends due to my addiction and put stress on my family that never should of been. Climbing out of the hole I dug myself was a struggle but the reward of recovery has been amazing. The Addict’s Diary helped me see that life isn’t always easy but giving up is never an option. I have 3 years clean now!

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For decades, my life was a blur of abusive relationships, prisons, and drugs. It wasn’t until October 24, 2016 that I left Texas and went to South Carolina. This is where my higher power, whom I call God, was able to get my attention. I was praying asking God for a Godly man. I wanted him to be a biker and I wanted him to treat me just half as good as my dad did my mom. My life changed so much at that point. I met my husband to be April 14, 2017. We found a place together and actually moved here to Indiana where I was raised. On Aug 22, 2020 we became husband and wife. My life is good all thanks to my higher power and my support people. We’re going to be moving back to South Carolina where I’ll start going to Celebrate Recovery. Thank you for letting me share a short version of my story. I hope to write a book telling my whole story. Any questions, please feel free to comment. Remember you are loved and life is awesome without drugs.

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Recovery: a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
I started with my first sip of alcohol at the age of 9, which turned into daily drinking at the age of 16 or 17. I hid behind the bottle in search of any sort of answer at the bottom. For 11 long long years, and drinking whatever I could get my hands on, including mouthwash and Nyquill, I hit rock bottom many times.
I hurt and broke many relationships with close friends and family. Personal relationships. Years and years of building gone. My self esteem was gone and everything I thought of life was nothing but a joke. My life was a joke. Over 110k spent on alcohol and multiple car accidents and life flight and much more; I kept going. That didn’t stop me. I wanted to keep suppressing the feelings of my past.
Addiction is an ugly thing. It effects people from all walks of life, all countries around this world. Some you may never even know. People can mask it to the point you could never tell they were under the influence.
I let God show me my actions were my own personal choice. I chose to suppress it but he never left my side. Every day I thank The Good Lord for keeping me here one more day to be an example. I cheated death one too many times and I’m not proud of what I have done in my past.
Today is promised but tomorrow is never guaranteed is what I go by. Improve yourself and never stop to be a better person. 7 and 1/2 months sober, longest since I started.
Check in on your friends, becasue sometimes when people are in that distorted state of mind or under the influence, all they want is someone to be there for them. Don’t fuel the fire, but suppress the fire and eventually put it out. #TheAddictsDiary

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My husband and I went to middle school together and very briefly dated after high school. We both had an addict parent and were party kids. Though we went many years without talking we both continued to grow in our addictions; becoming chained to heroin as well as meth. The photo of me in the hospital was my sixth overdose in five months. The mugshot of my husband was for distributing methamphetamines as well as for stealing. BUT GOD. Our paths were directed to Christian rehab programs that we both completed. And even though we lived in different places we both both ended up at an NA meeting in the same town we went to middle school together. We have now been married 8 months and have a beautiful 3 month old baby. If the two of us can get sober, anyone can. Thank you @theaddictsdiary for spreading awareness and for allowing us to share our story
Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

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My name is Isaiah Miller. Growing up the only thing I ever wanted to be was a professional wrestler. Wrestling was everything to me. After turning 16 in 2014 I found a wrestling training academy and was able to get my foot in the door of the pro wrestling business. (The first picture is of me sweeping out the ring during a show, the first time I’d ever been in a wrestling ring) Ever since then I wanted to be the champion of Pinfall Wrestling Association

Unfortunately a few months went by and my family moved from the area I was training at and we went back to our home town. There I was surrounded by synthetic marijuana and eventually started to use it. I was hooked. Getting high became my priority. Wrestling was still heavy on my mind but the sweet innocent Isaiah everyone knew became a addict, Willing to steal for his next high. It got to the point going a whole day of school because unmanageable. The sweats and sickness became to much. I dropped out in April 2016 after telling myself I would never do it.

After a couple attempts to get clean and move away I always found myself coming back. The days became the same, going one of two ways. Either feeling like death, fighting, arguing, feening for spice,or smoking it then consistently passing out through out the whole day as time passes by until one day something came over me. The life style wasn’t for me anymore. The high wasn’t fun anymore. March 21st 2017 I moved away with a friend I trained with in 2014 and began training again leaving behind my addiction.
After a year of training I became a professional wrestler. I became IJ Sweet. On April 17th 2021 I became the PWA Regional Heavyweight Champion.
I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life. I grew and learned so much from my addiction from the consequences of drug use but also the value of time. I went from wasting my days passed out high to living out a childhood dream.

Thank you all who took time to read my story. I hope it can help at least one person.

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My name is Brittney and I have 3 years 7 months and 5 days clean and sober. I went from a homeless junkie that lost her kids and everything she ever lived and owned to a severe meth addiction.
I turned my will and my life over on October 12th, 2017. I am now a full-time single mother, a full-time student, an alcohol and drug counselor, homeowner, dog, and cat mom, and the biggest advocate to those still struggling. We do recover!

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I’m Mariana, 26, the before pic was when I was still injecting myself with up to a gram and a half of heroin and meth every single day. I spent two years this way. Two. The before pic was taken 300 days ago. Look at what 300 days clean has done for me now. Sobriety is absolutely hard, emotional, Lonely, exhausting physically and mentally draining and absolutely pushes you to limits you never knew you had. You will want to give up every second of every day, you will face your demons head on, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. And You know what? Every single moment is f**king worth it, when for the first time in so long you get to see and feel the beauty of life again, you get to see and feel the beauty of YOU again. I promise. If you are struggling, Please don’t give up. Take it one day at a time. That’s all. Just know that there truly is greener grass, but it only gets greener once you start and continue maintaining it properly everyday. You got this. We got this.

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


From Drug Addict To Successful Business Owner

These days Jessica Mays has made her name as a successful business owner here. Lady And A Broom specializes in making your home look pristine. The entrepreneur life has been a blessing for Jessica, but her life has not always been glamourous.

At a young age, Jessica started experimenting with marijuana. She started smoking “pot” at eleven years old. At the time, she felt like marijuana made her feel good. But, unfortunately, the high from “pot” could only do so much for her feelings, and things were about to get much worse. After a year of smoking weed, Jessica was at the point where she felt she needed something more substantial, something that would not just make her feel good, but in her mind, she needed something that would make her feel like she was worthy to others. So, at the age of twelve, Jessica started smoking meth along with marijuana. She was a master at hiding what was becoming an addiction from her parents. Her father was a truck driver that worked tremendously hard to provide for the family while her mother stayed home to take care of the home and children. “I hid all of my addiction from my parents. I was good at what I did, but at that time in my life, I would have found a way to get my high even if they found out. My parents are amazing, and I thank them for continuing to love me even through my toughest times in life.”

When Jessica was fifteen years old, she became pregnant. She was a kid fixing to have a kid. So she immediately quit smoking meth while she was pregnant with her first child. Dakota, twenty years old now, was welcomed into the world, but Jessica’s new baby wouldn’t stop her from needing her feel-good high. So she went right back to weed and meth. Smoking meth was starting to take its toll, and the high was becoming less effective. At age eighteen, Jessica would begin using a needle and quickly became an IV meth user.

Three years after having her first child, Jessica would find herself pregnant again, but it was three months into her pregnancy before she knew she was pregnant. Unfortunately, that is three months that she had meth in her system. Worried that the meth would hurt her baby, she quit using it until her second child was born. Breanna, now age seventeen, entered the world as a perfect baby girl. Thankfully, there were no health issues from the drug abuse. However, just a couple of years later, Jessica would find herself pregnant with her third and final child. She was able to stay clean for the entire pregnancy of her third child. Nicholas is now fifteen years old and healthy as an ox. “I thank God every day that all three of my children were not impacted by my choices when they were born. I was selfish, and my feel-good high was more important than my children at the time.”

When Jessica turned twenty years old, she suffered an overdose. She had shot up with dirty meth. She became very sick to the point her peers thought she would die. Finally, she blacked out and couldn’t see, but she could hear everything going on around her. One female at the home she was visiting suggested just taking her to a store and dropping her in the parking lot. Another person suggested shooting up a clean shot of meth to flush the dirty meth out of her system. In their drug-oriented minds, the decision was made to go with the second suggestion. Shooting up more meth to flush out the bad was better than being dropped off in a parking lot to die, right?

When Jessica was twenty-one, she found herself in a deep dark place called jail. She lost custody of her three children and was in and out of the Cullman County, Madison County, and Jefferson County jails for two and a half years. She continued using meth anytime she could get her hands on the drug until she met Ms. Frady. Ms. Frady visited the Cullman County jail regularly and ministered to the ladies. “I didn’t know Christ. I was lost and afraid. I knew I didn’t want my kids to grow up and hate me for my choices, but I didn’t see a way out until Ms. Fraddy started talking to me about God. I know it’s easy to say when you are in jail, but she led me to Christ, and my life was changed immediately. It was not easy, I craved the high often, but God would reel me back before choosing to make another mistake. Once I met God, I truly turned my life around and started receiving treatment. Treatment and God are certainly the way out. I just couldn’t see it through the haze of my highs. There is a way out, and you don’t have to live your life in those dark times. Keep trying and seek treatment and God. Your life can also be transformed,” said Jessica

Twelve years later, Jessica has continued to stay clean from drugs. She is thirty-six years old and owns her own home, vehicle, and business. She regained full custody of her after going through a year of hard work and treatment. We all have made comments and condemned the drug users. Some just simply don’t want to give it up, while others are wanting help. They just don’t know where to turn. Praise be to God that Ms. Frady found Jessica Mays when she was at the bottom of the barrel and gave her hope. She showed her there is a way out of the drug life. After that, you can only choose to seek help or decide to continue using drugs.

Jessica Mays is an inspiration to many people because of her story. From the time she was eleven years old, she thought she needed drugs to make her feel special, but in reality, she needed God. “I pray that one person can hear or read my story, and it changes their life. I don’t want the glory, nor do I want the credit for any good deed I do. I found my way out of that dark place through God, and I intend for Him to receive all the glory.”

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


The people I hurt the most during my addiction was my family. Guess what? They were the only ones there for me when I needed help. I’m proud to say after ten years of active addiction I’m finally clean and sober!

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


My name’s Angela & I used call myself a junkie. My addiction lasted 13 years, and during that time I lost absolutely everything and everyone I love; including my 3 children. Today I’m celebrating almost 3 years clean. My children are now grown up, and one has a beautiful child of his own . They’ve since forgiven me, and we’re very close. Our relationship is finally that of mother and child. It hasn’t been easy, and sometimesis still very hard
For me, recovery didn’t happen overnight, but it DID happen. That terrible, lonely, empty place inside my heart is whole once again. I’m so proud my children are back in my life, and that they know how incredibly fortunate I am. I have the most beautiful Granddaughter who I’ve been grateful to spend the last 3 years building an incredible bond with. She may have saved me. I now own my own vehicle, have a beautiful home, a good job and am in college for chemical dependency. I know it’s terribly cliché, but I really was “sick & tired of being sick & tired” , and if you are too, please try to get help. Our children grow up way too fast. I was able to make it happen. So can you. I’m sharing this picture because I want anyone who’s still out there sick and suffering to know your never to far from a different life. I’m not ashamed of this picture or the judgment that may come with it because it may save a life. That same person in that picture gave me the strength to be the person I am today

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


I didn’t know I would lose it all. I wasn’t expecting to hit the bottom as hard and for as long as I did. I didn’t plan to lose my family, my sanity, my self respect and dignity. After a time, I did expect to lose my life, and I was OK with that.
And then it changed… I found a way out and latched on with everything I had. Today I have a beautiful family. I have my daughter back and gained a step daughter. I get to use my experience to help people today. If you think you’re too far gone, that you can’t do it- think again. The journey is long and the mountain is high, but one step at a time… keep climbing.
A beautiful life awaits you at the top

Image credits: The Addict's Diary


14 years ago today I had to make a very difficult decision, to either live or die. My life had completely fallen apart and with meth, I had lost everything. I hated myself an those that knew me then probably hated most things about me too. With some much needed hard love I was forced to change my life. I had to find God again and a purpose for living and I did!! Being sober was all I wanted so I could have my life back. It was a long, hard road but I worked daily an slowly regained myself. My kids have been my ultimate goal an they are my heart. I am truly blessed that God saw to it that I’m still here today for them. Can’t say it’s all easy cause the struggle is real but I make the best of everything I have an thank God daily!!

Image credits: The Addict's Diary

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