A Tennessee couple is going viral after they shared inspiring before and after photos from their struggles with meth addiction.
Brent Walker shared the pictures of himself and wife Ashley, 31, in a Facebook post late last month. In the post, he explained that the first photo was taken around December 2016, when he and Ashley were “in active meth addiction.” The second photo was taken last month.
Brent, 30, wrote that this December will mark three years since the couple has been “clean and sober and living for God.”
“I hope that my transformation can encourage [an] addict somewhere!” he wrote. “It is possible to recover!!”
Since he shared the photos, Brent’s Facebook post has gone viral. As of Friday afternoon, it has been shared over 143,000 times and has over 19,000 comments.
“It blew our minds,” Brent told Today in a recent interview. “I had a bunch of people who told me that our story has encouraged them to get help and check into rehab.”
According to Today, Brent was 9 when he started smoking and 12 when he began using marijuana and drinking. He tried acid and other drugs three years later.
The outlet reported that his addiction didn’t become serious until 10 years ago, when he and his brother Jess were partying and Jess asked Brent for a ride home. After Brent declined, because he needed to sleep before work, Jess drove himself home and was in a fatal car crash.
“That is when I went to the hard drugs and tried meth for the first time,” Brent said.
Brent told Today that he first met Ashley about nine years ago. During their on-again, off-again relationship, they used meth together and fought frequently. In 2016, Brent was released from prison after serving two years of a 10-year sentence, the outlet reported.
At first, Brent and Ashley “started getting high again,” he said, but he grew more and more worried that he would be sent back to prison if he failed his probation drug tests.
In December of 2016, Brent explained, “I said to Ashley, ‘I want to build a life,’ and I asked her to come with me and she said, ‘Yeah, I’ll go.’”
They tied the knot 30 days after getting sober. During their first year of sobriety, the couple worked together to get through the challenges.
“We just fed off each other. If I was having a bad day and craving she would help talk me out of it and vice versa,” Brent explained to Today. “We blocked and erased every friend we had who did drugs.”
The couple returned to school, where Brent received a GED diploma and Ashley earned her nurse’s assistant certification. Today, Brent works at a local steel plant and does occasional heating, ventilation and air conditioning work. Ashley works in the local hospital’s intensive care unit. They are now working on rebuilding their credit and buying a home together.
“Whenever I was an addict I thought that because I had ruined my life there was no way to turn it around,” Brent told Today. “It just had to stay that way. You don’t have to live like that forever. You can have a better life.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.