A mother in Missouri shared some shocking images of her son to her Facebook page this week in an effort to show the heartbreaking effects of addiction.
The images posted by Jennifer Salfen-Tracy could not be more different, but they show the same man, her son, Cody Bishop, only seven months apart. The first photo shows a healthy young man with a smile, muscular build and blond hair. Then the second photo shows Jennifer's son only seven months later, after the toll his addiction had taken on him. In that photo, Cody looks gaunt, with sores covering his skin and stringy blond hair flying out from under a baseball cap.
"The face of heroin and meth...... is reality for so many people and families in this world today," Jennifer wrote in her Facebook post.
She explains explains that her oldest son Cody Bishop is suffering from addition to meth and heroin and that she was sharing the photos of him because she'd learned how many other people in the world go through the same thing. Jennifer writes that addiction is a "true issue in our world today that we need to pull together and focus on to fix instead of the government worrying about and spending all their money on throwing each other under the bus."
She goes on to say that while she hadn't heard from her son for several weeks now, she knows that Cody is currently homeless in Las Vegas.
"Hearing how bad he is doing is hard but not hearing at all is worse. The unknown is what makes a person not sleep at night," Jennifer writes in her post.
Jennifer's post has been shared more than 56,000 times with thousands of comments from people all over the world expressing concern for her son and sharing their own stories of addiction and recovery.
"I feel your pain like it is my own. I know how helpless and alone you feel, but you are not. The sad news is, it will be a life long struggle. The hopeful news is their is a lot of great programs and mentors out there to help, but as you know they have to be ready," one commenter wrote.
My husband works at a Rehab facility in Dallas that is funded by grants. He sees all sorts of addictions and knows how it changes a person and what a demon it is in letting go of its victim. I pray for your son but you too. It's something that affects everyone in the family," another said.
"My prayer for you and your son.my family know what u r going through my husband sister was on the same path as your son.but she is finally clean and doing alot better and I hope the same for your son," a third person said.
Another commenter talked about their sister who they hadn't heard from in a decade.
"In the same boat with my oldest sister. We haven't heard from her in almost a decade, she's been on the streets of Portland, Oregon for a long time now, and no matter how much we reach out, she never responds."
"This is not just A problem that my family faces but almost everyone knows someone who has A drug/ heroin addiction," Jennifer wrote. "I pray for strength for those suffering and healing for their families and friends. FYI.... these pictures were taken 7 months apart. That is how fast someone is effected.... let’s get ahold of this issue America and help eachother. Thanks again for everyone’s love and support. And Cody is you see this please call us... we love you!"