The faces of despair: Shocking images of meth addicts reveal the devastating effects of dangerous drug

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Will the Meth-heads never learn New before-and-after images of US addicts reveal the devastating effects of drug epidemic

Many of them are already lost to the powerful and tragic effects of drug addiction.

But if ever there was a way of preventing future generations from falling under the grip of illegal drugs, it is these shocking images.

New pictures released by an American police force show the horrific effects of methamphetamine abuse.

Shocking: New pictures released by an American police force show the horrific effects of methamphetamine use over a number of years

Shocking: New pictures released by an American police force show the horrific effects of methamphetamine use over a number of years

Shocking: New pictures released by an American police force show the horrific effects of methamphetamine use over a number of years

Harmful: Meth”s use has a strong association with depression and suicide as well as heart disease, psychosis, violent behaviour and anxiety

Tragic: Over just a matter of months - and in some cases weeks - eyes become sunken, skin becomes paler and blotchy marks appear

Tragic: Over just a matter of months – and in some cases weeks – eyes become sunken, skin becomes paler and blotchy marks appear

Ruined: Most tragic of all is the look of sadness and despair on the ruined faces of those whose lives have been wrecked by the drug

Ruined: Most tragic of all is the look of sadness and despair on the ruined faces of those whose lives have been wrecked by the drug

Preventative: The Multnomah County Sheriff department in Oregon, U.S., has released the images in the hope that it will make children think twice before ever touching the lethal drug

Preventative: The Multnomah County Sheriff department in Oregon, U.S., has released the images in the hope that it will make children think twice before ever touching the lethal drug

Over just a matter of months – and in some cases weeks – eyes become sunken, skin becomes paler and blotchy marks appear.

Most tragic of all is the look of sadness and despair on the ruined faces of those whose lives have been wrecked by the drug.

The Multnomah County Sheriff department in Oregon, U.S., has released the images in the hope that it will make children think twice before ever touching the lethal drug.

The department has run a series of hard-hitting campaigns over the past decade as it attempts to cope with an endemic drug problem in the north west of the U.S.

Campaigning: The police force was instrumental in putting together the controversial 2004

Campaigning: The police force was instrumental in putting together the controversial 2004 “Faces of Meth” campaign which was shown around the world

Dangerous: Meth is known for being highly addictive. The drug increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem and increase libido

Dangerous: Meth is known for being highly addictive. The drug increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem and increase libido

Hard-hitting: The department has run a series of campaigns over the past decade as it attempts to cope with an endemic drug problem which has affected the north west of the U.S

Hard-hitting: The police department has run a series of campaigns over the past decade as it attempts to cope with an endemic drug problem which has affected the north west of the U.S

Horrific: Users of the drug are known to lose their teeth very quickly - known as meth mouth

Horrific: Users of the drug are known to lose their teeth very quickly – known as meth mouth

Increasing: In the 1980s, drug counsellors saw an increased abuse of the drug among men who had sex with men

Increasing: In the 1980s, drug counsellors saw an increased abuse of the drug among men who had sex with men

The police force was instrumental in putting together the controversial 2004 “Faces of Meth” campaign which was shown around the world.

Last year, the force also released a series of images called “From Drugs to Mugs” .

They showed the first arrest of a drug user together with a picture taken just months later.

Government data suggests more than 10million Americans have used meth, with around one per cent of users being pregnant women.

Problems: States like Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona have all been heavily affected by meth use

Problems: States like Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona have all been heavily affected by meth use

Harmful: The drug initially creates feelings of euphoria and invincibility, but experts say repeated abuse can alter brain chemistry and sometimes cause schizophrenia-like behaviour

Harmful: The drug initially creates feelings of euphoria and invincibility, but experts say repeated abuse can alter brain chemistry and sometimes cause schizophrenia-like behaviour

Social problems: The drug is the top contributor to violent crimes and thefts in many towns and cities

Social problems: The drug is the top contributor to violent crimes and thefts in many towns and cities

Meth is known for being highly addictive. The drug increases alertness, concentration, energy, and in high doses, can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem and increase libido.

Its use has a strong association with depression and suicide as well as heart disease, psychosis, violent behaviour and anxiety.

Users of the drug are known to lose their teeth very quickly – known as meth mouth.

Methamphetamine originally took root in California”s agricultural heartland in the late 1980s and early 1990s asa poor man”s cocaine.

Affected: Scientists also recently revealed that children whose mothers use crystal meth during pregnancy will be more prone to anxiety, depression and moodiness in later life

Affected: Scientists also recently revealed that children whose mothers use crystal meth during pregnancy will be more prone to anxiety, depression and moodiness in later life

Sad: Government data suggests more than 10million Americans have used meth, with around one per cent of users being pregnant women

Sad: Government data suggests more than 10million Americans have used meth, with around one per cent of users being pregnant women

Faces of Meth: Before and After
Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

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Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Meth”s availability and its potential for abuse combine to create the biggest drug threat in the Central Valley, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice”s DrugIntelligence Center.

Most law enforcement agencies don”t keepstatistics on how many homicides, burglaries and thefts are meth-related, but those responding to the National Drug Intelligence Center”s 2011 survey said the drug is the top contributor to violent crimes and thefts.

“It drives more crime than other drugs do. Meth is in its own category, because it”s so much more addictive than other drugs,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Scientists also recently revealed that children whose mothers use crystal meth during pregnancy will be more prone to anxiety, depression and moodiness in later life.

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

So-called “meth babies” are also more likely to weigh much less when they are born and suffer from drowsiness and stress in their formative years.

Researcher Linda La Gasse said the combination meant they were at higher risk of developing serious behavioural problems than other children.

But while there was certain similarities to “crack babies”, whose mothers consumed crack cocaine while pregnant, “meth babies” could be in greater danger.

This was because, she said, meth has a strong effect on the brain and is therefore more likely to have longer-lasting effects in children.

The first study to look at methamphetamine”s potential effects was conducted by Brown University”s Centre of the Study of Children at Risk.

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Government data suggests there are 100,000 pregnant women snorting, swallowing or injecting the highly addictive euphoria-inducing drug across the U.S.

Joseph Frascella, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse”s behavioural division, said the research was “groundbreaking”.

But because the study is a first, the results should be viewed cautiously and need to be repeated, he said.

A total of 330 children, from aged three to five, were tracked in the Midwest and West, areas where meth use is most common.

Mothers were recruited shortly after giving birth in Des Moines, Iowa; Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Faces of Meth: Before and After

 

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

 

They were asked about prenatal meth use and newborns” stools were tested for evidence of the drug.

Effects in children exposed to the drug were compared with those whose mothers did not use meth.

Both groups were high-risk children, with many living in disadvantaged homes.

Mothers or other caregivers completed a widely used checklist asking how often children showed many kinds of troublesome behaviour.

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Preventative: The Multnomah County Sheriff department in Oregon, U.S., has released the images in the hope that it will make children think twice before ever touching the lethal drug

At three-years-old cores for anxiety, depression and moodiness were slightly higher in meth-users” children.

These differences persisted at age five.

The older children who had been exposed to meth also had more aggression and attention problems similar to ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Mothers were asked about symptoms, but not if their children had ever been diagnosed with behaviour disorders.

More than half of the mothers who had used meth during pregnancy also used it afterwards. These women also were more likely to use other drugs during and after pregnancy and to be single mothers.

But the researchers said accounting for those differences and others in the two groups” family lives did not change the results.

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After

Faces of Meth: Before and After