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CBN.com "I had walked by the bathroom and saw my mom lying on the floor. She was laying there because she had an overdose of heroin," Frank Perez remembers from childhood.
Drugs nearly killed Frank's mother, but that didn't stop him from becoming a junkie too.
"I was addicted to methamphetamine for 16 years. It started out with paint, pot and then being a poor kid raised in the streets. We would sniff gasoline. Then when I got to high school, I got involved in doing PCP, which is angel dust, and then started doing more hallucinogenic as far as acid," Frank continues.
Frank grew up surrounded by drug addicts who cared very little about what he did.
"I really had no supervision growing up as a kid. So when normal kids would be home and in bed by 8:00, I was out still roaming the streets at night -- 10:00 at night with friends or hanging out with people that were older than me."
Frank began to mimic the drug use he saw at home.
"I was roughly about seven-years-old and my brother-in-law and some of his friends were out in the backyard sniffing paint, and I went out there to see what they were doing. I just started talking to them and asking why they were doing it and they said, 'Just come over here, you try it.' "
Before long, police arrested Frank's mother for selling heroin and sent her to jail.
"When I went to visit my mom, I just didn’t want to leave her, because I always told my mom no matter what, nothing was ever going to separate us. I always wanted to be there with my mom," he says.
Frank was forced to live with his aunt and uncle.
"When you’re a young kid and you see the way that other people are loving on their kids and stuff, and even though they were my aunt and uncle and all that, I really didn’t feel like I was apart of that family," he remembers.
A few years later, his mother got out of jail. She began attending church and gave her life to Christ. Then suddenly tragedy struck. Frank's mother died of a heart attack.
"That’s where I really became bitter and angry. I thought to myself ... well, what kind of God would do this? Here, my mom was going to church, she turned her life around, and then He just took her."
Frank wanted nothing to do with God.
"I really hated Him for the fact that He took the one person that really meant anything to me in my life -- the one person I could talk to about anything. He took her at a place and a time where I thought I finally could get my mom back."
Grief stricken, Frank turned to a powerful combination of drugs to numb his pain.
"I would get up in the morning to go to work, and I would be kind of tired, so I would go into my garage and smoke a little bit of methamphetamine. As I was on my way to work, I would smoke pot to just keep me on a mellow balance. Then during the day, I would be smoking my pot and doing my methamphetamine, and when I come home at night, in order for me to be able to go to sleep and somewhat rest, I would take the valium to sleep."
Eventually the pain became too much to bear. Frank decided to kill himself.
"At that moment, I just got to the point where if I was to die tonight, who’s going to care? So I saw two five gallon buckets, and I put them end on end. I had some rope, got a piece of rope and made a noose out of it. I threw it over the wood rafter we had in the garage, tied it to the vise and hung on it to see if it would hold me. I kicked the bucket out and all of a sudden, I felt this jerk. I jerked to where my feet could touch the ground ... my toes enough to where I could get the rope off my neck. It scared me, and at that time I wasn’t scared of anything. I wasn’t scared of dying, I wasn’t scared of anything and at that moment, I got scared."
Frank realized it was time to get help. He decided to talk to a pastor of a local church. That conversation led Frank to Christ.
"He asked me to close my eyes and goes, 'Are you ready for a life change?' I said, 'Well, yeah, I got nothing else to lose. I have nothing.' So I said, 'Yeah.' Okay, he goes, 'Close your eyes and repeat this prayer after me.' "
" I felt something different. I felt this peace that I never felt in my life. I just knew at that moment, something was different ... that the true God, the true living God that they talked about, that people tried to share with me, existed. Because within that moment, I felt free," Franks says.
Drugs no longer control Frank's life. He is completely free from a 24-year addiction.
"I am just very grateful in how God has changed me, and regardless in what I’ve gone through and what I have faced, I’ve seen the power of God work in my own life and others’ lives. I’m just blessed."
Now he wants others to find the same freedom and peace he discovered.
"The God I was praying to had finally released me from my prison. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, if it wasn’t for Him."
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