In his autobiography Scar Tissue, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis documented his decades-long struggle with drugs and how he ultimately kicked the habit. About life after narcotics, the Michigan-born singer wrote: “The good news is that by the second year, the cravings were about as half as frequent, and by the third year, half as much again. I’m still a little bent, a little crooked, but all things considered, I can’t complain. After all those years of all kinds of abuse and crashing into trees at eighty miles an hour and jumping off buildings and living through overdoses and liver disease, I feel better now than I did ten years ago. I might have some scar tissue, but that’s alright, I’m still making progress.”
It is estimated that drug abuse is costing the taxpayer $740 billion annually in the United States. The effects are felt through crime, lost work productivity and the cost of health care. What is immeasurable, is the toll that illicit drugs take from the affected families. Luckily, like Kiedis himself, there are people who walk the long road of recovery successfully. Here are sixteen such heroes, the difference in their appearances a telling story.