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LISTEN. LEARN. AND LIVE! Revealing the Ugly Truth about Spice


This book reveals the truth about the dangers of Spice and other synthetic drugs. It explains how dangerous chemicals are used to make synthetic drugs.

Product Description

This book reveals the truth about the dangers of Spice and other synthetic drugs. It explains how “legal” but dangerous research chemicals are used to make synthetic drugs. Individuals have lost their life to this drug as well as those who had nothing to do with Spice.


For orders of ten or more, please call 915-539-5170 to discuss shipping.

Additional Information

Weight 1.5 oz
Dimensions 8.5 x 5.375 x .125 in



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Preview of book, Chapter 1

Destiny is not a matter of chance; It is a matter of choice. – William Jennings Bryan

This book is dedicated to my children Adam , Kristen and, Matthew.

I love you forever.

I’d like to thank my husband, Paul, family, co-workers from Robert Rojas Elementary and friends.  Your love, encouragement and support have carried me through such a painful time in my life.  Thank you, Matthew for the awesome front and back cover design. Thank you Greenlee neighbors for helping me edit this book.

If you would like to make a donation and support synthetic drug awareness and education, please donate at the following website(s).

Copyright       2015  by Ruth M. Rivas

All right reserved. This  books, or parts thereof, may not

be reproduced in any form without permission.


DEFINING MOMENTS……………………………………… Pg.     1


US DEA OPERATIONS DIVISION, 2010……………………..Pg.    8


US DEA OPERATIONS DIVISION, 2011……………………Pg.   13

RISKS AND CONSEQUENCES……………………………..Pg.   14

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES, 2012…………..…….   Pg.  20

IGNORANCE IS BLISS…NOT!…………………………………….Pg.  21

BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………… Pg.  24


We plan our life: what it will look like, what we will do, who will be a part of it. But life is fragile and it can change in an instant. What we really need to ask ourselves is, “Am I prepared for that change?” or “How will I handle it?” I’ve heard that you really don’t know what you are made of until you come face to face with a problem or situation that will affect your life forever. I call it, a defining moment.

A defining moment alters the course of your life and takes you down a road you never saw yourself traveling. Some may cower away and refuse to accept their defining moment. Others STAND UP to the challenge, day in and day out. Whether it is a commitment to fight against an injustice, to speak out, to educate, to love, or endure. That commitment has to be more than emotion. It has to be more than whether you feel like it today or not.

My life took on such a “moment” and turned it ‘round 180 degrees. I have never been the same since. I have had to create a new normal for myself and commit to living life to the best of my ability.

My life changed forever on June 20, 2012 when the Navy informed me that my son, Adam Robert Hernandez, had passed away. My family and I were traveling on the road to visit my other son, Matthew, who lives in Austin. We were still about an hour and a half away from the city when we received a call from the Navy. They said they had an important message to give me and they would meet us at the hotel where we were staying. After hanging up the phone, I told my husband, “This isn’t going to be good.”

I tried to keep myself calm by thinking, and hoping, they would tell me that Adam had been in an accident and I needed to fly to Hawaii to be with him. Even if it was a bad accident, he’d be alive. Hurt, yes, but I would help him get better. I could handle that. But my heart was telling me something different. For the next hour and a half, I prayed and pleaded with God that my worst fear would not come true. I was scared. I could feel my world wanting to come crumbling down. I would not let it happen unless I was told those five dreaded words, “We regret to inform you….”

We finally arrived at the hotel and I practically jumped from the car before it had even stopped. I entered through the hotel front doors and to my left, two Navy sailors dressed in white uniforms waited for me in the dining area. As I walked up to them I asked, “What’s going on, guys?” And then I heard the five words that I prayed I would never have to hear. As soon as I heard those words, I turned around, ready to run out of the hotel. Where to? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I didn’t want to hear anything else these Navy officers had to say.

I didn’t realize that my husband had caught up with me and was standing right behind me so I turned and ran directly into him. I guess it was a good thing because he prevented me from running away. Into traffic? Maybe.

The officer continued with his rehearsed speech as I hopped up and down, screaming, “NO! NO! NO!” I think deep down I was hoping to drown his voice out because I didn’t want to hear anything more from this man. I just wanted him to shut up! I could feel my legs giving way so my husband helped me sit down at one of the tables. I sat there, rocking back and forth, shaking my head, saying softly, “No. No.”

I didn’t realize I was subconsciously paying attention to what he was saying until he said that Adam’s death was being investigated as a criminal case by NCIS, Navy Criminal Investigative Service. I immediately stood up and asked, “Was he murdered?” They couldn’t tell me. “Did a fellow sailor, one of his “brothers” kill him?” THEY COULDN’T TELL ME!

Hearing that my son was dead and that his death was being handled as a criminal investigation was too much to bear. I pleaded for answers but did not get any until later that night when we were able to speak to the coroner. Perhaps now we would have all our questions answered but nothing could be further from the truth. Adam had driven to the base, walked to the edge of a soccer field and had taken his own life!

I could not understand what I was being told. Just one month before this, Adam had spoken about re-enlisting, after having served 8 years. He talked about buying a car, attending a new church, and hoping to be assigned to a nuclear submarine the next time he went out to sea. He had plans for the future.

How could my son, who loved to dance at every opportunity, read voraciously, and swim to his heart’s content, take his own life? How could my son, who volunteered to stand watch for his Navy “brothers and sisters” so they could visit their families during the holidays, kill himself?

Adam loved life. He loved adventure. He had a great sense of humor. He cared for other people. Surely, they had the wrong person.

The coroner told us that packets of Spice had been found on his body and in his house. I had never heard of Spice. It was explained to me that Spice is synthetic marijuana and that it is popular among sailors. I asked if Spice could have played a part in my son’s death and was told, “Yes, Spice causes people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.”

Lots of questions began to form in my mind. I couldn’t understand. Spice is synthetic marijuana?  Spice caused my son to take his life? Wait. Aren’t military members drug tested?  If Adam had been using drugs, wouldn’t it have been detected? How could this happen? I knew I had to learn more about Spice and fast because I could not even begin to mourn the loss of my son until I could understand how this thing called Spice could turn my day into night.

Since then, I have learned so much about Spice, how it is made and what can happen if you smoke it. I have learned that this synthetic drug permeates the lives of people throughout our country and has infested the shelves of legitimate businesses.

So much has been said about Bath Salts and other designer drugs and it amazes me to this day to find so many who have not heard about Spice. It has become a popular drug among high school students and a way for employees and people on probation to get “legally” high and test “negative” on regular drug testing kits. Yet, when I ask people if they’ve heard of Spice, 99 percent of the time their answer is, “No. What’s Spice?”

My “defining moment” has propelled me into a new chapter in my life. My new mission is to raise awareness about Spice and to educate others about how it is made and what it can do to you if smoked.

In writing this book, I have gathered information from a variety of sources, making use of quotes and statistics, but always focusing on the value of each life Spice has destroyed. I have written this book in honor of my son’s memory. My hope is that you sit down with your son or daughter, while you have the opportunity, and have an open dialogue about the risks and consequences of Spice and synthetic drug use.

I am Adam’s voice now. I know he would want me to warn others about this poison. He loved life but Spice took everything away from him. Don’t let it do the same to you.

Please listen, learn, and LIVE!