Society

Recovery.org's Combined Images Depict The Average Face Of A Drug User

| by Will Hagle

It’s no secret that what we consume affects our physical appearance. Various drugs — both legal and illegal — often have a significant impact on a user’s appearance over a certain amount of time of repeated use. 

To emphasize the effect that three of these substances (marijuana, alcohol and methamphetamine) have, Recovery.org has created images of what it claims to be the “average faces of drug abuse.” In order to create the images, the site compiled 100 mugshots of users arrested for possession of various substances. The site then used a software entitled PsychoMorph that uses face perception analysis to analyze individuals’ complexions and combine them into an image of a unique, realistic-looking human face. 

The site depicted an image of the average marijuana user, the average DUI arrestee, and the typical methamphetamine user. Predictably, the methamphetamine users demonstrated the most significant damage to their physical appearance. 

The site was created to demonstrate the negative effects various drugs have on the body, but also to emphasize how many individuals are arrested for drug possession throughout the United States. According to the Daily Mail, an average of 2.8 million people in the U.S. are arrested for drug-related charges each year. That’s roughly the equivalent of the population of Chicago, the country’s third-largest city. 

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Compiling 100 mugshots likely does not actually depict what the average drug user looks like, but the images are still interesting.