What does a heroin addict look like? Everyone and anyone.

Look over the table. Peer across the room. Turn to the right. Or to the left. Check behind you. Turn around, and around, and around. No matter where you look, that person looks like a heroin addict, because heroin addicts come from all walks of life, every income level, religion, nationality, gender and age. Heroin and addiction have no prejudices. All are welcome.

A quick Google search will show some pretty horrendous before and after images of heroin addicts, and this is what most of us imagine all herion addicts look like. But the reality is, heroin addicts (and nearly any addict) can look “normal” for a very long time before the drugs and resulting behaviors begin to destroy their physical appearance.

Addicts can blend into society without being noticed. Addicts are most likely in your life whether you know it or not; they are at your work, church, school, neighborhood, and gym.

Addiction is a disease that affects everyone. According to this 2012 Huffington Post article, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has recovered from drug or alcohol addiction. ONE IN TEN.

In a recent episode of Katie, she interviews a heroin addict and actually says, “I look at you…and think, wow, this does not look like the face of heroin to me.” The interview with a recovering addict, who happens to be a beautiful young woman – like many I’ve seen in rehab centers – is very informative. It explains the how’s and why’s and what’s of addiction from the point of view of this addict; it certainly echoes the experience of many addicts I have spoken with.

Addiction is real. It’s scary. It destroys lives. But it’s possible to recover and repair.

If you look in the mirror and see an addict, if today you ARE the face of heroin, make a call.

Believe in yourself, save yourself, and trust others to help you get better. Choose to get better. Choose life.