Couple's hard-won battle against meth addiction inspiring thousands

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy Brent Walker Courtesy Brent Walker
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (KAKE) -

A Tennessee couple's story about their meth addiction and getting sober is inspiring thousands of people. 

Brent Walker told WTVC that he's battled addiction for 10 years and his wife, Ashley, has struggled for 12. Now they're nearly three years clean and their transformation is visible. 

"I started my addiction when I was 9 - I picked up cigarettes," Brent told the ABC affiliate in Chattanooga. "By 12, I was smoking weed. Fifteen, I was dealing and doing ecstasy and acid. My whole life I've been miserable and hated my life." 

To celebrate their sobriety, Brent shared their before and after photos publicly on Facebook on July 26 with the hashtag #Cleanchallenge. Since then, his post has been shared more than 142,000 times.

"From the UK to Canada to California to Washington, Africa, Iowa - everywhere tell us that our story has inspired them to check into rehab and get help, and that's just the most rewarding thing to know," Brent said.

(More: Local business holds addiction outreach event to help families find comfort)

Brent got his GED this summer and Ashley works as a certified nursing assistant. The Walkers say if they can quit, so can others battling addiction.

If you or anyone you know struggles with addiction, click here for information on getting help or call the 24/7 Free Addiction Helpline at (888) 459-5511.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE