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The Look of Drugs: These Before & After Snaps Will Break Your Heart — or Give You Hope

look of drugs

The Look of Drugs: These Before & After Snaps Will Break Your Heart — or Give You Hope

The Look of Drugs is as unmistakable as it is unsettling. Gaunt, pallid, shifty and deceitful. It’s not a look you want to run into anywhere. And it’s most certainly not a look you want to adopt. Ever. Unless that is you’ve decided to swap all your cares for drugs. And even then…

But what about the look after drugs? Can a face really regain its composure? Can a person truly restore their glow? Is it possible to scrub a good look into something folks once were afraid to see? Even after the mirror’s been shattered and the friends and family have all scattered?

Well, as you’ll see here, you can get past the look of drugs. And if you peer long enough and hard enough, you’ll see where the secret lies: in the eyes.

Yep, it’s all in the eyes. Just as the look of drugs could be sensed through a vacant stare, the look after drugs can be recognized by the wide friendly eyes. Indeed, the sober look has a certain openness about it. Welcoming and glad to be here, with you. Glad too that you’re here with them. A look that drugs could only half-heartedly pretend to rep[resent, no matter how much happy powder went up the ol’ nozzle.

The Look of Drugs

There’s a good reason why folks post Before and After addiction pictures. A damn good reason. It’s because they’ll shock the drugs right out of you. In fact, such frightful warning signs mark about the fastest route to scared straight you can take without cop cars and handcuffs. Think about it. Then take a look. Or take a look and then think about it. Either way, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion: the look of drugs is not a good look.

Not good to see and not good to wear. Ever. If you’re looking at it — down a dark alley, across the dinner table — you’ll immediately want to protect yourself from the wearer. If you’re wearing it, you’ll immediately want to protect yourself from yourself.

Just how exactly do you protect yourself from yourself? Well, it ain’t easy. Not by a long shot. But it can be done. If that is you’re willing to truthfully face what and who you see in the mirror.

Here are a few tricks for those who are intent on wiping that look of drugs off their face once and for all.

  • Stay Focused: It’s really easy to get distracted. To let your eyes wander off the prize. It’s especially so when your mind won’t stop drilling drug thoughts into your head. After all, sobriety isn’t like getting high. It doesn’t happen in an instant. And if you’re gonna complete your mission, you need to keep focused full speed ahead.
  • Set Goals: One of the best ways to stay focused is to set a series of smaller, yet still important goals. Renew your driver’s license. Pay off a credit card. Submit a resume (or three). Phone that friend or family member you’ve been meaning to phone since forever. You’ll get a burst of freshly energized focus with every single achievement.
  • Make Your Bed: Yeah, we know. It’s an old trope. But it’s stuck around for a reason. When your personal space is in good order, you too are much more likely to be in good order. At the very least you won’t have anything literally tripping you up. Plus, sitting at a nice clean desk in a nice clean room makes you feel like a nice clean person. And isn’t that the big, bright idea?
  • Hit a Meeting: Okay, so AA may not be for everyone. It may not even be for a large majority. But it is a proven process. And it has benefits that go beyond the 12 Steps. One of those benefits is camaraderie. Few things (if any) can match the strength and the fortitude found in AA’s sober support network. Need an understanding someone on the other end of the line? AA’s got you covered. Looking to be among a group of like minds? AA’s got you there too. Want to simply feel less alone? Yep, AA will also help you out. What’s not to dig about that?
  • Be Thankful for What You Got: There’s a song of that title. A great song. By William DeVaughn. And it’s one of the most soulful and elegant pleas for gratitude that’s ever been made public, in song or otherwise. Loaded with hooks, folks locked into the lyrical “digging the scene with the gangster lean,” as well as the TV antenna on that star Cadillac’s back (a real big deal in 1974). But that wasn’t what truly grabbed the crowd (who made it a million seller). No, they were grabbed by DeVaughn’s very simple reminder: a Caddy don’t make the man, or the woman. “You may not have a car at all,” sang the soulman, “yet remember brothers and sisters, you can still stand tall.” Put on the song. Give it close listen. Once. Twice. Thrice. (This helpful mix extends it to over an hour.) If gratitude is really this soulful (and it is), then just imagine what great good it will do to, for and through your soul.
  • Seeing Clearly Now

    There’s another song. Just as soulful and stirring as DeVaughn’s “Thankful”. It even comes from the same era. This song doesn’t suggest a way to be though; it describes the way things are once you’ve decided to be a certain way. In this case, it’s the wide open vista a person comes across once the rain has gone and all obstacles reveal themselves.

    We’re talking about that “bright, bright sunshiny day” immortalized by Johnny Nash in “I Can See Clearly Now”. The track’s a bona fide gift of the gods (what Robert Christgau deemed “2 minutes and 48 seconds of undiluted inspiration”). It also just so happens to fit right in with our addiction prism. Because once you’ve identified (and removed) all the obstacles in your way, the pain will be gone, the bad feelings will disappear and clear skies will be just what you’ll get. Clear skies that you can see for miles and miles and miles.

    But that’s yet another song. (By The Who, natch!). That’s okay. Cue up DeVaughn. Cue up Nash. And cue up The Who. Cue up all the great singers and their songs. Because just as there’s a reason for folks shocking the hell outta you with the look of drugs, there’s a reason singers sing about gratitude and clarity. And when you reach that magical place, you’ll also break out in song. Because a life free of addiction is a life well worth singing about.

    Healing Properties knows. Heck, we’ve been providing de facto music lessons for men since 2002. We’ve got tons of great songs on our playlist too. And we’ve taught thousands of men how to sing them. Not just alone in the shower. (Though there is that.) And not just while driving along in the car. (Though there is that too.) No, we’ve taught them to sing from the rooftops, so the whole wild world can hear the sound of happiness. Because the sound of happiness beats the look of drugs every which way you cut it.

    Want proof? Real proof? Then give us a ring.

    (Image: Top Pictures)

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