The “Faces of Meth” — before and after police mugshots of drug users that depict the effects of methamphetamine on the human body — debuted eight years ago this month. It has aged a lot better than the folks using the drug.
A new ad has just been released and the pictures will horrify you. I’ve used one of the least shocking photos at right.
Many Americans learned most of what they know about meth from the TV crime drama “Breaking Bad.” In the acclaimed TV series, a high school chemistry teacher makes the drug in a home lab and begins selling it, raking in millions and running afoul of organized crime.
That’s what makes the drug so hard to control. Almost anyone can make it using common chemicals.
Making meth is dangerous. Toxic gasses are created and homemade labs have been known to explode.
Using meth is even worse. Whether injected, snorted or smoked, meth affects the central nervous system, creating a temporary high. It also creates brain damage and in a matter of months significantly alters the way a person looks.
Smoking the drug promotes tooth decay, causing teeth to literally rot out of the user’s head. The so-called “meth mouth” is easily observed in the photos.
Meth also creates acne or makes it worse. Frequent drug users pick at the skin causing scarring.
Meth users tend to quit eating properly, and the body begins to consume body fat and muscle, creating a gaunt look.
The overall effect is that many meth users look like they’ve aged years in just a few months.
The term “Faces of Meth” was coined in December 2004 by a reporter in Oregon. Soon afterwards, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, located in Oregon near the Washington state line, began its famous drug prevention project.