ALTON – Author Ty (T.A.) Bechel has always loved to write, but the subject of his most recent book is recovering from something which threatened to take away everything he loved – heroin.

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“Heroin Rising II: Out of Ashes” begins where the first book ended – Bechel seeking treatment near Springfield, Illinois, for a heroin addiction. That addiction led him to do a laundry list of uncharacteristic things listed in great detail in the first book. The second book, however, contains more of a message of hope. It details the struggles of recovery, including Bechel reaching out to a higher power and realizing he could not tackle the problems brought into his life through his heroin addiction as well as the problems leading to that addiction.

“For addicts, I think the message is there is something for them to look at,” he said. “There's hope that recovery can happen. For those in recovery, it shows how tough it can be. There's a big difference between a few months sober and a few years sober, but a lot of things can remain the same. It's just a day at a time sort of thing.”

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Bechel has also been an instrumental part of battling the opioid epidemic in Madison County. While deaths from heroin may have given way to deaths by Fentanyl, addiction is still addiction. He works with addicts seeking recovery from across the area through his non-profit, Amare, which has the goal of reintegrating recovering addicts into their communities through service.

He also takes his story to young people through a play he wrote, called “If I Never Wake Up” to which he has added another act. That tale is a warning to young people about the trappings and inherent danger of heroin addiction as well as addiction in general. Bechel said his own path to opioid dependence was rooted in smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol in high school.

His most recent book debuted last week at Riverbend Family Ministries and will soon be available at A Novel Idea Book Store in Granite City. It is currently available through Amazon.com.

While Bechel said the second book is the final book he plans on publishing regarding his trials with addiction, his career as a writer has just begun. He said he plans on releasing an anthology of reality-bending horror stories as soon as early 2019. He also said he has looked into writing children's stories in the future as well.

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