A US woman recovering from a crippling heroin addiction has shared shocking photographs of herself in the hope of inspiring others to seek help.
Melissa Lee Matos from West Virginia shared a series of photographs in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, news.com.au reports. The posts show Melissa—who has been clean for a year and five months—at her lowest point of her addiction.
"I have NEVER shared these before. I'm not sure I ever intended to. This is extremely hard for me in so many ways," she wrote in a confronting Facebook post.
“This was what I looked like, daily, for years. This is what my husband dealt with. This is what my little girls walked in on. This is what my family and friends saw, on the rare occasions I left the house. I was SICK. I was DYING. I was so far gone I thought I could NEVER recover.”
The mother called upon others who were battling addiction to seek professional help, 7 News reports.
“If you are currently in active addiction, this is my plea to you. Look at these pictures. Images of a dead girl. A needle junkie with a habit so fierce she spent days and nights in a self induced coma on her bathroom floor,” she wrote.
“A girl who would spend every cent on dope and forget she had kids to feed and take care of. A girl who lost every single thing she ever had. A girl who was so sick she thought she would never ever find a way out, until she did.
“If you are reading this and are going through the same pain I did, I am begging you to reach out.”
She ended her post with a message of hope, reminding readers that recovery is possible.
“I have now found life. I promise you, there is HOPE. There is recovery. There is freedom and serenity and you are worthy of it,” she explained.
The post has been shared over 48 thousand times. Thousands of commenters have praised Melissa for opening up about addiction and her life-changing advice.
For information or support contact the Alcohol and Drug Foundation on 1300 85 85 84.