Innocent Addiction


Last week I followed two stories in the news that shook me to my core. The first one was the picture that went viral on the Internet of a man and a woman in East Liverpool, Ohio who were completely unconscious in a car while driving with a four-year-old boy in the back seat.

According to the police officer, the driver said he was taking his passenger–the mother of the little boy–to the hospital because she had overdosed. The reality was that both, driver and the passenger, were turning blue and needed a shot of Narcan to reverse the deadly effect of heroin.

The second story was a chronicle published on Friday about Huntington, West Virginia, a town where 28 people overdosed in just five hours on August 15, 2016. This is the same town in which 1 of 10 babies are born addicted to heroin or opiates, and fight for their lives against NAS, the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome passed on to them by their mothers.

What caught my attention about these two stories was the nature of the narrators: the first responders and the neonatal nurses who deal with this heartbreaking reality 24/7 as if they were workers in an assembly line of human destruction. They are the anonymous heroes who work everyday to save lives of people who don’t want to be saved.

These professionals know these lost souls by name; they are the walking-dead who go through life destroying everything in their path, including innocent children who cannot choose their parents nor the lives they must live.

I commend the City of East Liverpool for publishing the pictures on their Facebook page, regardless of the backlash. People got offended and reacted to the images condemning the police department. I applaud them. Although the images were gruesome and revolting, they forced me to recognize the tragedy that is destroying so many communities across the US.

I even lost sleep thinking about the newborn babies who struggle with an unwanted addiction and imagine myself poisoning–intentionally or unintentionally–my own son’s soup. Isn’t that what these mothers are doing?

The communications industry continue to ignore this out-of-control calamity, and they manipulate the news cycle by focusing on issues that carry more votes for the upcoming presidential election, such as the recent New York bombings or the Zika virus in Florida.

Decades into the war against drug trafficking, the United States continues to put the blame on producing countries instead of controlling the high demand in the streets of America. For example, Colombia–my home country–has done everything to fight this evil at all cost. The people are willing to vote a referendum to legitimize the “Peace Deal” with the FARC guerrilla that will put the country on a silver platter for grabs, as long as they stop trafficking drugs to finance their terrorist campaign.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spent almost a hundred million dollars on TV ads attacking Donald Trump during this campaign season–ten times more than the business mogul has spent against her. Sadly, not a dime has been spent on this issue. Couldn’t they maybe use some of that money to focus on this epidemic and get some votes in the effort?

The answer is no. Those states that are decaying under the drug addiction are already secured according to the polls. Elected officials, and those seeking office, don’t want to confront the elephant in the room; it is just too big and it would consume their agendas.

Negligence and economic interests from both political parties destroyed manufacturing in states like West Virginia–currently with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the US–perpetuating dependence on the government and annihilating the dreams of families who want to escape poverty.

Soon enough another President will be elected and I am afraid nothing will improve. Meanwhile, the babies in the NICU will continue to live their lives between heaven and earth, because they were born cheating death, and more nurseries will have a changing table full of prescription bottles instead of formula bottles to deal with this innocent addiction.

Thanks for reading a sharing,

Xiomara Spadafora

This column was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency. Many things is life don’t have insurance. For everything else call Zellner (888) 208-8119

9/11: Unforgotten Pain


Last Friday I had a dentist appointment at 10 a.m. to check on the acute sensitivity of one of my upper molars. I’m a 100% chicken with respects to dentistry work, so I dreaded the visit for a couple weeks. However, the pain started to get worse and the fear of an overnight emergency on the weekend pushed me to go.

The hygienist took some x-rays and said that maybe my sinus or grinding was causing the pain. This gave me hope. Then, the dentist came in, took a look at the x-rays, and applied heat to the troubled tooth, which made me jump like a spring. He sat up straight, took his glasses off and said, “I’m sorry, you need a root canal.Continue reading “9/11: Unforgotten Pain”

Love Burns


Over the weekend, my husband saw in the news the story of a young woman in Clearwater, Florida who was charged with second degree arson for torching a man’s vehicle. Apparently she wanted to attempt revenge on her ex-boyfriend by burning his car, but ended up torching the wrong one. The owner of the vehicle sent the video to the police department and days later she was apprehended.

I don’t know what her boyfriend did to her, but the story served me well to kid my husband after we both failed to remember our eighth wedding anniversary last week. I joked with my hubby asking, “Aren’t you glad I am not like her?”  Continue reading “Love Burns”

Towing Victims in Miami

Xiomara Spadafora Towing Victims-001

Last Monday I rented a seven passenger van to pick up VIP cargo in Miami Beach: my Mom, Granny, and two of my aunts. They were visiting from Colombia and had just arrived from a three day cruise around the Bahamas. I had to drive five endless hours listening to the tune, “Are we there yet?” sung by my son every five minutes.

The moment these women boarded the van, it turned into a chicken coop talking non-stop all at the same time. We spent the night at the Cadillac Marriot and enjoyed the ocean view without knowing that, the next morning, we would have an unfortunate encounter with a very dangerous species of blood sucking parasites, and I am not referring to the Zika mosquitoes. Continue reading “Towing Victims in Miami”

A Culture of Lying

Xiomara Spadafora Culture of Lying
When I was a kid, I remember getting in trouble for lying. It was the one “sin” I didn’t want to commit, because like the elders always said, trust is something that can’t be unbroken. This doesn’t mean that I never lied—ask my Mom—but at least I tried hard to avoid getting caught or I spilled my guts full of remorse if outed.

However, the world has changed so much that telling the truth seems like an animal facing extinction. The story of the Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and his imaginary robbery at gun-point story is the latest and best example of this epidemic. Too often people in the public eye—politicians, newscasters, athletes, or celebrities–get away with murder. Why? Because they have either money or power to reinvent truth. Continue reading “A Culture of Lying”

Eating Challenge

Xiomara Spadafora Eating Challenge-001

Five weeks ago I started a diet for the first time in over six years. The last time I embarked on this venture, I had a stronger motivation than vanity. I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1, which was causing POCS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.) In simple words, the unbalanced sugar level in my body was atrophying my reproductive system and destroying my motherhood dream.

The treatment included a zero carbs diet and the diabetes prescription called Metformin, commonly known as Glucophage. The result? I lost 30 pounds between March and June and my sugar level went back to normal. It was the thinnest I’ve ever been in my life, but my skinny days were numbered, because the stork started her trip in August and delivered my baby boy the next April. Continue reading “Eating Challenge”

Olympic Mom

Xiomara Spadafora Love of Gold-001

I have been an Olympics fanatic since I was a little girl. Therefore, last Friday I watched the entire inaugural ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Games, and besides learning Brazilian history and a bunch of new country names, I also learned that “Super Model Cat-Walk on High Heels” had became a new sports discipline at the Maracana Stadium.

Kidding aside, over the weekend I watched different competitions of men and women’s cycling, beach volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming, the latter, the sport of Dana Vollmer. This amazing athlete–Gold Medalist of the 100 meters butterfly at the 2012 London Games–returned to the pool to defend her gold and world record. However, she was defeated by Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, both 16. Continue reading “Olympic Mom”