The face of drug addiction for Toni Huggett showed up on her front door for the first time in six years last week.
Her family member, who the Central Western Daily won't name to protect his identity, was dropped off at her house in Molong by a "friend who literally sped off down the driveway".
Mrs Huggett opened her home in the hopes of providing help to the man her family had watched battle addiction for more than two decades, but it wasn't to be.
His dependence on methamphetamine, or 'ice', had become so extreme that he was on the way back to Orange in search of drugs before she or anyone else could get him in to see a professional.
Mrs Huggett said the physical effects of the drugs shocked her family.
"His body shape has changed, he's slouched now. You can see all of his spine through his clothes and his face looks elongated because it's all drawn in," she said.
In his dark times he's said to me 'I had it all and now I have nothing'. That hurtsToni Huggett
"He's always angry, so his face is screwed up, and his teeth are ruined. His body smells like death."
The man returned to sleeping rough in Orange, either on couches of "friends" or finding shelter in the Orange Central Square shopping centre car park.
Mrs Huggett said keeping him away from the people who feed his habit was near impossible.
"It's easy to get. He told me he can steal a $20 meat slab twice a week to trade for Ice," she said.
A government-assigned trustee provides twice weekly payments - social support acquired after a serious sporting injury - which finances the rest of his addiction.
The man attended high school in Orange and played rugby league at both junior and senior levels, but a tackle one Sunday left the then 17-year-old comatosed for two weeks, after which he was forced to learn to walk and talk again over 18 months at a rehabilitation clinic.
Mrs Huggett said the pay out and pension that followed made him an easy target for drug dealers, who began spending a lot of time around the house his parents had purchased for him with his welfare money.
By his mid-twenties the man's marijuana use had escalated to experimenting with heroin and speed, and before long he had developed Hepatitis C from needle use.
Mrs Huggett said it's getting harder to remember the young man she once knew.
"He was ridiculously cheeky. He annoyed me but only because everywhere he went his sense of humour had everyone in stitches. He was smart and had a huge friendship group," she said.
"In his dark times he's said to me 'I had it all and now I have nothing'. That hurts."
Mrs Huggett said when the man came to see her last week he begged her to get him some help, but she was told by a drug treatment facility there was no patient intake on weekends.
On Monday, when the man sought help himself, he was told there was no room at the facility, but was given a list of alternatives across the state he could contact for help.
"In Newcastle he's been put on a waiting list and told it could be a week or it could be several months, but with winter here and more people looking for a bed for the night, they said their bet is on months," she said.
Mrs Huggett told her family member he could stay until they could get him into a clinic, but he was afraid of becoming a burden.
"He looked at my phone full of help numbers wrote 'thank you' then told me if he dies to promise that all of his money goes to his child, then he went for a walk and never came back," she said.
"I filed a missing persons report with concerns for his safety. I haven't seen him since."
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