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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Heroin Rising’ by T.A. Bechel

Heroin Rising Cover
Image from Riverbender

“Addiction itself is a slow and painful death like being stabbed by many different knives.”


T.A. Bechel, author of Horror and thriller titles like Bullied to Death and Origins of a Boy Named Luci, travels outside of his comfort zone to share his personal nightmare with his tell-all confession of his past struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. A travesty turned triumph. This is a real life story of terror that almost didn’t end with a happy ending.


“If this book can help guide even one life to the path of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction then my experience with personal and almost defeating darkness was not in vain.”

If you have never had the unfortunate pleasure to read an autobiographical account of substance abuse, you are missing insight into a world that most cannot fathom—and if you can fathom it only because you are, or have been, trapped within that world, then Bechel is reaching out to you to tell you that you are not alone. Addiction can take anyone hostage, but you can escape.

“For the first time in my life I no longer had to worry about how awkward I felt at my dad’s house or how misunderstood I thought I was.  I didn’t think about whether girls will like me; I thought about nothing.  I finally found a way to live in the moment.”

Bechel’s book is raw and emotional in ways most books aren’t.  It’s real and painfully honest.  There are moments that you can’t escape, and in those moments, you can almost feel what he felt—irrevocably trapped and suffocating.  From his first pull on a handmade aluminum foil pipe up the jacob’s ladder to opiate euphoria, down the dangerous slope to suicidal desperation and, finally, to the breaking point that saved his life.  Through his first intimate moment with a girl, the loss of a family member, the start of a truly remarkable relationship and the birth of his daughters, Bechel holds nothing back.

“I was now a full blown junkie and I knew it.”

There are only two weaknesses to Bechel’s novel, and they both lay in technical issues that don’t show in his other works. While Bechel’s book is a fantastic window into the mindset of an addict, it suffers from weak editing. On Bechel’s part, I’m more than willing to give him some credit, when you’re writing something you’re as close to as he had to be to this project, it’s hard to focus on the technicalities- but his editor deserves a swift kick in at least one tender zone for the job that he did.

The only other complaint that I had while reading the book was that the moment that should have been a climax was so brief, and so short, that it hardly lasted more than a few pages.  Again, this was more of a technical and pacing error than anything else—and while it detracts a little for the end of the reading experience, Bechel’s message still speaks through.

“Today I am the happiest I have ever been. Please don’t think I am perfect, for that I am not. I still get angry, I still must apologize, and I must start my morning every day with the direction of positive thoughts.”

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