This was one of Herald Lifestyle's most read stories in 2019.
A US woman who once sold her body to feed her meth addiction has shared incredible photos of her transformation after kicking the habit.
Jamee Velet shared the before and after photos on the "Addict's Diary" Facebook page after she picked up her high-school diploma.
One photo shows the 25-year-old, from Oregon, two years ago marked with scabs and bruises. A recent one show Velet with clear skin and a bright smile.
"My name is Jamee and I am a recovering heroin and meth addict," she wrote.
"These pictures are 2 years apart. The better looking version of me being just a few months ago when I got my GED! Recovery is possible!"
When Velet took the first photo, she was sitting in her car all night waiting for a drug dealer.
At 13, she started smoking marijuana to escape a troubled childhood. Then at 15, Velet turned to pills when she dated a boy who was in the drug scene.
He got her hooked on Vicodin, morphine, Oxycodone, Dilaudid and Percocets.
"He was the person who taught me how to crush them up and snort them," she told the DailyMail.com.
"That very quickly took over and opiates became my best friend."
She dropped out of high school when she was 17 and said she was raped by two men one night when she was drunk.
Two months later, she met a man who told her he was a drug dealer and showed her some heroin in tinfoil.
Her addiction began as she went back to his house where he kept feeding her "many drugs all night long".
"I was traumatised and depressed from the rapes, and the first thing I did the day I walked out of the door was met up with some guy," she said.
"I didn't know limits. I remember throwing up and doing more and throwing up and doing more. I made a fool of myself."
She said the man sent her home after four days and it took her two weeks to come down.
Velet was eventually arrested at 19 after being caught trying to rob a home. She also had stolen a grandmother's purse from a supermarket to feed her habit.
While in jail, she battled with her mental health and tried to kill herself. However, she was saved by her cellmate who returned to their cell earlier than usual.
She was in a coma for two days as a result. When Valet woke up, she declared to her mother that she would not do drugs again.
However, straight afterwards she had sex for money so she could buy drugs again.
When she was 19, she stayed clean for nine months. But she wasn't done and relapsed again and wound up in a year-long rehab program, where she met her current boyfriend, Jake.
The couple moved in together after rehab, but a miscarriage caused her to relapse again.
She admitted putting her boyfriend "through hell", stealing from him as well as her family, including her own grandmother.
A chance to finally clean herself up came when she went to visit his family.
"That's when we told them we had a problem," she said.
"I wound up going cold turkey for 16 days, and his mum nursed me back to health before sending me to a 90-day inpatient program."
After a year of being clean Velet now has a job as a construction worker. She recently got her General Educational Development diploma and plans to go back to college.
The couple are still together and have two dogs.
"I'm spending quality time with the ones I want to fight for and also focusing on which ones are toxic and which bring me down and bring me back to my addiction," she added.
Sharing a message of hope for others struggling with addiction, she said:
"No matter how low how you're feeling or how your life is, it does get better."
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email email@example.com or online chat.
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
• SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.