Meth is bad, guys. I know, what a novel idea, right?
Yes, meth makes you do bad things and rots your brain and destroys communities, but the thing we focus on the most, it seems, is the aesthetic toll it takes on its users.
I'm talking about how it makes you ugly.
You've seen the pictures before. Mugshots put back to back showing the depressing effects of the drug on its users' once smooth and youthful faces as they descend deeper and deeper into the tragic and brutal addiction.
It's the one extremely serious and life destroying drug we still think is generally kind of funny, which is extremely weird of us. Although, I guess we do this with a lot of drugs now that I think of it. Bath salts, for example, which is like hell in a bottle, is joked about a lot because it's so terrible.
Maybe we're all just assholes.
Anyway, here is another one of those stories.
This is Matthew Medlin, a meth user who has been brought in time and again by the police, each instance becoming more facially tattooed.
He actually doesn't look all that physically altered. I mean, he certainly looks thinner and gaunt, but compared to a lot of meth heads, his transformation isn't even that severe. The fact that his major physical change is just extremely bad fashion choices (and a very, very sad face) is the silver lining here.
As for the psychological effects of the drugs and it hindering him from living a fulfilling life, free from the pain and brutality of addiction, there is, it seems, no silver lining whatsoever.
These photographs were taken over 14 years, and there are many more of him I've left out. The Multnomah County Sheriff's office released them in order to show the toll meth takes on its users.
His last arrest, in February, involved him in a multi-hour long standoff with police, during which he continued to inject himself with meth.
I know he looks funny or whatever in these pictures (bold brows), and the impulse to be like, "LOL, METH HEADS AGAIN" is strong, but this is a human being who has spent 14 years in a narcotic stranglehold likely ruining his life. It's like the opposite of funny.