WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A recovering drug addict who shared a series of confronting images highlighting the impact of heroin use has revealed how she turned her life around.
Melissa Matos last year made the bold decision to share the distressing photos of her passed out in the bathroom of her family’s West Virginia home – a sight her young daughters, Katherine, 11 and Elisabeth, 9, had walked in on before.
Describing herself as a “needle junkie”, Ms Matos said she would steal, lie, rob and spend every cent she had on drugs to supply a decade-long habit so fierce she’d often fall into self-induced comas.
In 2015 Ms Matos overdosed on her bedroom floor as her children played next door, only to be saved by paramedics who found her in a dire state.
“I was SICK. I was DYING. I was so far gone I thought I could NEVER recover,” she wrote in the post in a bid to help others in the same position.
But the 40-year-old, who was once covered in scabs and needle marks is now clean thanks her to children.
“My youngest never really talks about it… she doesn’t really remember anything and it didn’t affect her. She’s just proud of my recovery,” she told The Mirror.
“But my oldest will talk about how it hurt her because I was always locked away in my room and I ignored her. How it was scary seeing me high.”
She said it became apparent how much her addiction was affecting her family as Katherine became “the mummy of the house”.
“My eldest daughter would bring me food and drinks, rub my head, stay by my side like a mother would when her child was sick. She would watch her little sister, help her with homework, help get her ready for school,” she added.
“All the things a mum would do, that at the time, I was not capable of doing.
Fast forward to present day and Ms Matos has now been clean since March 1, 2016 and is working with Alcoholics Anonymous and as a writer raising awareness of drug addiction.