The Bitter Taste of Dying: Author Lives to Tell About Prescription Drug Abuse Hell

Biiter-Taste-of-DyingJust a few years ago, Jason Smith was lying in his bathtub, 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.

The Bitter Taste of Dying covers Jason’s sixteen-year battle with prescription opioid drugs, from its innocent beginning to its dark and horrific end. The reader follows him around the globe, watching him manipulate and steal as the drugs slowly and relentlessly annihilate his body and soul.

Smith’s writing has received enormous praise. Jonathan Alter, former Senior Editor Newsweek, MSNBC, et. al. says, “This memoir grabs you by the throat on the first page and doesn’t let go until you’re done, in one sitting–gasping for breath because you know, finally, what it’s like to be a drug addict without having been one yourself.”

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drugs Use and Health, “an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time in the past year. This averages about 6,600 initiates per day, of which one-third are 12 to 17 years of age.” In his memoir, author Jason Smith reveals how easily he fell into prescription drug abuse in high school, and just how hard it was to escape the addiction.

When asked how it feels to have his work out for the world to see, Smith says, “I’m still learning how to process the feeling. It’s really a strange sensation, to be honest. To take something so deeply personal, parts of you that for a long time you wanted to hide, and expose them. It feels really vulnerable, but in a good way.”

In a recent publication, Smith writes a thank you letter to drugs. Despite his harrowing experience, he says that drugs were never the problem. The problem was within himself, and that drugs inspired him “to be a better human being, a better friend, a better husband, a better father.”

The Bitter Taste of Dying is available on Amazon, iBooks, and at Jason Smith’s website,

JASON SMITH is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, whose work has been published extensively in both online and print media. He is also the Creative Director of, an online community for addicts. Jason currently lives in northern California with his wife Megan and two children, Jaden and Isabella.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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1 Comment

  1. sisterhood

    When my son was 12 years old, and prone to ear infections, we were driving over the grape vine when his inner ear burst. We went to an ER where he was prescribed liquid vicodin. It made him high as a kite, which he really enjoyed. It scared me how happy he was and how he kept asking me what the dr. had given to him. (The only good thing was that he & his sister didn’t fight once on that long car ride…)

    I’m not sure he needed that rx. By the time we reached the ER & the Dr. saw him, he had stopped crying. I asked him if he was in a lot of pain & he said no. I’m not sure why the ER Dr. rx’d that to such a young person, on the verge of an age where drugs can easily be abused.  We didn’t even have to go to a pharmacy, the dr. just handed the dose to us. Perhaps if we had to wait in line at the pharmacy, I would have decided not to give it to him. I wonder if extra strength anti-inflams were all he needed.

    I applaud Mr. Smith for sharing such a private story with the world & hope his memoir inspires &  helps others.

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