A 17-year-old girl has shared shocking childhood photos that lay bare the reality of being raised by a 'druggy' mother.
The teenager, from Idaho, posted the devastating family album on Reddit and Imgur this week alongside details of the squalor endured by herself and her four siblings, reports the Daily Mail.
"This is me at 18 months," she wrote alongside a photo of a toddler lying in a filthy room strewn with drug paraphernalia.
"Yes, those are needles on the windowsill and yes, this is what the entire house looked like. #druggymomlife."
Another image shows her then-toddler age sister tottering across a floor covered in soiled clothes and discarded trash, while a third captures the family's kitchen with cupboards full of "more pills than food."
he girl explained the photos were taken by her then-16-year-old brother in a bold move to expose the horrific conditions. He showed the images to his teacher who phoned the Child Protection Service (CPS) and the children were taken into care.
The post and subsequent discussion shocked Reddit users, racking up more than 2,500 comments and almost 60,000 'upvotes'.
Commenting on the photo of the poster as a toddler, users note that she looked quite small for her apparent age.
The girl added that her age was harder to identify because she and her siblings "were all pretty malnourished and underdeveloped" partly because her mother was smoking, using drugs and drinking alcohol throughout her pregnancy and because the family were living off food stamps.
However she also acknowledged she might have been less than a year old, or even younger.
She then shared more photos depicting her childhood living in a house with a carpet thick with dirt, cluttered living spaces, filthy bedding, broken glass in a pile of dirty toys, a messy bathroom floor with a knife on it and a kitchen with "more pills than food."
She also revealed that her heroic brother decided to take pictures of their situation, and then showed the shocking images to his teacher who reported the case to the CPS (child protective services).
It was then that the children were all removed from the home and taken into foster care, where the teenager remained on and off until she was adopted at age nine and taken to a different state.
Asked how she copes, the poster said she prefers to take a positive outlook on life and added: "Weirdly enough, I actually love these photos! It just reminds me of how far I've come and what I can accomplish!"
Even more shockingly, she said she also chose to forgive her mother, although it took "a long time."
"They've both passed away unfortunately. My father wasn't an addict. My mother did fight her addiction till the day she died.
My mother was not her disease and it took me a long time to realize that," she added.
She added that, since being adopted, things have improved drastically, although she confessed that she continues to suffer from PTSD and anxiety.
"I'm a lifeguard, I'm about to go onto my senior year! I have a super awesome boyfriend and a college fund set up!" added the 17-year-old.
She also said that when the time comes, she will foster or adopt an older child instead of conceiving her own baby naturally.
Although she didn't reveal what has happened to all of her siblings, she said that her brother who took the life-changing pictures is now happily married, and his wife is ten weeks into her pregnancy with "child number four".
She also stated that her sister who "basically raised" her graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and is a Behavioral Interventionist in an Autism Unit.
Some people encouraged her to write an autobiography to "inspire others in similar situations" while others said her story "nearly made me cry."
The teenager shared the images on Reddit just weeks after the UN issued a warning to the US about its opioid crisis, which the international organization says has now become an 'epidemic'.
In the 2019 World Drug Report, which was published at the end of June, North America remained the area with the highest concentration of opioid users globally, according to information compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The number of deaths caused by drug overdoses also rose 13 percent to 47,000.
Research chief for the agency, Angela Me, said: "Drug overdoses have really reached epidemic proportions in North America."