Why are many drug addict faces so bad looking?

I don’t have any real life experience. I’m only going by mug shots and Reddit videos but it seems like many opiate or fentanyl users have pock marks all over their faces like they have measles or something? I assume they are not injection marks.

My limited understanding is they claw and pick at their skin for some anxiety reasons. Maybe coming down or needing a fix.

Lack of cleanliness and not caring for themselves could add to it.

There’s a bit of confirmation bias going on. There are plenty of addicts who look like anyone else. I’ve known a couple.

That said, meth is terrible for teeth and can lead to scratching.

I think it’s what Beck said, plus some addicts are so messed up, they neglect personal hygiene, which can cause acne and skin infections.

I know in face sores are common in meth addicts because chronic meth use can weaken the immune system, causing infections and face sores and because meth affects circulation and reduces blood flow.

I’ll never forget running into two former students at a grocery store. They had face sores and dark grey teeth. My heart sank. Another former student is a recovering meth addict who’s doing well now after some really horrific experiences brought about by her addiction (like losing a baby and having her parental rights terminated for another child). She had a complete set of dentures by the time she was 38.

Repeated for emphasis. The vast majority of drug users don’t look like obvious drug users.

How’s Ned??

Injectable street drugs are infamous for their adulteration. Shooting up plaster can’t be good for you.

It might be confirmation bias, but the ones I’ve seen in the wild(big meth area here, along with many other drugs) look horrible. My experience is limited, like I said.

It’s a terrible disease.

I was in rehab three years ago and everyone (about a dozen people), including the meth addict, who is now a good friend of mine, looked pretty normal. I think the duration and quality of the drugs may have a good bit to do with it, as well as socio-economic factors. About half the people were from middle-income neighborhoods.

That, plus I think some people who are physically unattractive to begin with might be more likely to seek solace in drugs.

Keeping as close as possible to a normal life and they will look normal. Go to work, shower daily, wear clean clothes. Eat and sleep well.

Drug users often are not getting proper nutrition, when you lose the thin layer of fat under your skin it shows up first in the face.

But mostly I think it is lack of nutrition, and the loss of the fat layer under your skin. You can see it also in very sick people who are not drug users. Sunken face, dark eyes, pale skin with blemishes.

And mugshots are generally taken when people are in their worst condition and many times still higher than a kite after being up for days.

That is literally the definition of confirmation bias.

There was a show or YouTube or something that showed progressive mugshots from the first arrest to sometimes up into the 20th. Obvious how they declined over relatively short periods of time. And yes it is their worst time.

I don’t see any harm in being biased towards them especially if they get clean they can use the pix as motivation to remain clean or help others.

It’s just like drunk soccer moms. You can see them a mile off. I’m sure they think they look okay and believe no one notices but everyone does. Til they get picked up on DUI carrying a carload of kids to the soccer field people just ignore it.

If it walks like a duck…

That’s precisely the point of calling it confirmation bias. There are likely people that you’ve seen out and about who were addicted to drugs that you never suspected, precisely because they don’t have the symptoms that you’ve described.

On the three occasions in my life when I slipped into a crack cocaine habit, I had a full time job, and didn’t miss work. Nobody at my job said anything, either.

Also, lack of sleep. If you are up all night doing drugs, and only get a couple hours of restless sleep, you tend to look like shit the next day. If you see somebody strung out on meth, they may have been awake for a few days.

Can’t see what you can’t see.

Can’t un-see what you’ve seen, either.

I agree it’s biased. Because you did not appear, physically to be drug addicted and passed as they say, is your good fortune.
It’s the reason companies and agencies want drug testing, so they can find the hidden ones. I can’t say I’m for drug testing. I do know I’d rather the lady at dialysis, hooking me up is drug free. Or my airline pilot is drug free.
How they get there is a whole other discussion.

Ok, that’s my new band name.

Be careful, it may already be a porn site

People who inject drugs are notoriously susceptible to infections related to poor hygiene and contaminated equipment.

Facial sores are a hallmark of meth use, stemming from addicts picking at their skin but also due to drug toxicity.

Really? How physically unattractive are you talking here, someone whose appearance makes little children scream in terror, or just ordinarily homely?

There was speculation in another thread about how people who do evil are also ugly (which QtM graciously corrected from his own personal experience of practicing medicine in prisons). Your post reflects a similar sort of ignorance, in my opinion.