Search This Blog for Authors, Publishers, Reviewers and Books

Add Your Logo or Avatar to This New Book Review Reader List:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

An Uncomfortably Close Look at the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic



THE BITTER TASTE OF DYING
A memoir
by Jason Smith
ISBN-10: 0996402012
ISBN-13: 978-0996402019
Available on Amazon
Available at iBooks

Reviewed by Christa Wojciechowski originally on MySweetDelirium.com

Just a few years ago, Jason Smith was lying in his bathtub, the blood slowly draining from his slit wrists. Now he is here to tell us how he reached the point of suicide after his long, dark descent into prescription opiate abuse. The Bitter Taste Dying is a story of resurrection told by an author who has literally come back from the black grip of death.

Today’s junkies are not just on the street corner anymore. Big Pharma are the suppliers, and doctors are the pushers, cultivating (perhaps inadvertently, but that’s debatable) a massive population of addicts from all demographics.

After a severe car accident, Smith has back surgery and is given a perpetual menu of painkillers and muscle relaxers by his physicians. It doesn’t take long for the high schooler to realize that by taking more than the recommended dosage, he could obtain the warm, euphoric mental and physical comfort only opiates can bring. But all too soon he also discovers the pangs of withdrawal whenever his medication runs out.

If anyone has difficulty understanding what an addict feels like, Smith describes it with painful accuracy.

“You know that feeling of having your head held under water, the last of your oxygen depleted, where very fiber of your being screams at you to get to the surface for more air? That’s the feeling of needing more drugs…”

As Smith grows into a man, his addiction grows to mammoth proportions and he must go through heroic efforts to keep himself in pills and Fentanyl patches. Smith tells the story in an approachable, conversational tone that may have you laughing out loud at some parts. As horrendous as it is watching how far he would go and how morally low he would sink to get more drugs, it’s difficult not to marvel at his ingenuity and boldness.

At the same time, Smith writes with tender honesty and cutting unabashedness that is rare in any writer, much less any human being. The reader immediately feels very close to him, making his shocking confessions feel like blows.

The Bitter Taste of Dying is an important book that underscores the urgency with which society has to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic. It allows us to watch with uncomfortable closeness how easy it is to develop an addiction to pain medication and how quickly and mercilessly it can devour one’s entire life.

From aspiring football star to international criminal, Smith shows us step by step how opiate addiction can happen to anyone you know, and very likely destroy them. Most importantly, The Bitter Taste of Dying reveals the light at the end of the tunnel–even the most hopeless addict can make it out alive.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Smith is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, whose work has been published extensively in both online and print media. Jason Smith is also the Creative Director of TheRealEdition.com, a recently launched website that allows addicts, recovering addicts, and their loved ones to publish their stories of addiction. Jason currently lives in northern California with his wife Megan and two children, Jaden and Isabella.

The Bitter Taste of Dying was released July 6th, 2015 by Thought Catalog and available in KindleiBooks, and his website http://authorjasonsmith.com.

Jason Smith is available for interviews, contributions, and appearances. To schedule a media event, order books, or request review copies, please contact christawojo at gmail.com.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Christa Wojciechowski is an author and freelance internet marketer living in Panama. You can visit her blog at christawojo.com and follow her on Twitter at @christawojo.

----- 
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

No comments: