Frank Scandin: Dead on Arrival
By Amy Reid
The 700 Club
Frank Scandin grew up in California, in what seemed like a typical church-going family. But behind the scenes, life wasn’t so perfect.
“My stepfather was an alcoholic and he had times where he was very abusive to my mother and to us,” Frank said. “It was like Jekyll and Hyde. When he was sober he was the nicest guy.”
Frank’s mom was an artist and a new age psychic.
“Somewhere along the line she converted from going to church to attending these meditation groups,” Frank said. “They would meet in the living room of our home and I would sit on the stairs and I would listen in. They would do things like channel spirits, create angels. For many years she was just consumed by this stuff.”
Frank longed to escape the abuse and his confusing home life. He began smoking pot and dropping acid at the age of 11.
“I was doing what all the other kids were doing,” he said. “You were either a head or you were a jock; so I was a head.”
When Frank was 12, his mom discovered his drug addiction and sent him away to live with his father.
“I came out here to live with my dad, who I didn’t know at all, and brought my suitcase of clothes and suitcase of drugs and problems too,” Frank said. “And my poor dad didn’t have a clue on how to deal with any of it. He tried just everything he could think of and I was pretty gone at that point.”
Frank started using heroin and other narcotics. At 16, he left home and dropped out of school. He and a friend came up with a plan to get as many drugs as they wanted.
“I became what is known as a drugstore cowboy,” he said. “I burglarized many drug stores. That was my lifestyle. I had all these narcotics and I was taking them and I was selling them and I got away with it for years.”
And then he got caught.
“That was the first time I’d gotten arrested,” Frank said, “and they locked me up for 10 years. I did three years on the 10.”
After his release, Frank overdosed on heroin. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital and remained in a coma for four days.
“I don’t remember actually hitting the floor; I just remember my arm being on the table and the needle pushing, the plunger going down,” he said. “Then the next thing I know I’m on this hill and I’m on my hands and knees facing up. It was so real that I could smell the grass. And there’s a guy standing there in a white robe. All I could see was the feet, the sandals, the holes in the feet and the robe. And I reached up and I grabbed the robe with both my hands and was clutching it with all I was worth. And I was begging Him, ‘please don’t take me now, please don’t take me now.’”
Frank made a miraculous recovery, but he went right back to drugs.
“I thought I was doomed to be locked up for the rest of my life and be an addict. I just felt morally broke, bankrupt. I couldn’t do it anymore,” he said.
Frank was in treatment at a halfway house when a friend from the past, who is now a Christian, showed up.
“It was a guy I had bought heroin from,” Frank said. “He invited me and another group of guys to go pray down in the basement. Well they started praying. And he’d say a couple of words and then we’d follow along, repeating the salvation prayer. We were standing in a circle holding hands; there wasn’t a guy in the room who didn’t have tears rolling down their cheeks. We stayed down there for quite a while, just praising and worshiping the Lord and thanking Him. I didn’t really understand what I was even doing, to be honest with you. I just was following along and I knew it felt good. And I felt really different. I felt like a big load was off my back. I wasn’t depressed anymore. I felt confident all of a sudden. I felt like there was hope.”
Afterwards, Frank had some questions.
“I said, ‘what just happened down there, man? I experienced something.’ He laughed and he said, ‘well, you just got saved and the Holy Spirit just entered your heart.’ And I was like, what? I didn’t really even understand what that meant,” Frank said.
Frank had stashed some drugs to get him by while going through treatment. No one knew about them.
“That night before I went to bed, a voice foreign to my own - in my mind said, ‘throw away the pills!’” Frank said.
He decided to throw the pills in a dumpster on his way to treatment.
“Everyone had already gone in, so I was like a minute or a minute and a half late,” Frank said. “The counselor was standing at the door and he was like, ‘how come you’re lagging behind?’ and I stuttered. He said, ‘where were ya?!’ I stuttered and said, ‘I threw my pills away.’ It just came out, I don’t know why. Next thing I know, the police are there. I’d just gotten saved the night before, and for the first time in my life I’m going do the right thing, be honest, throw my pills away, and even admit to it. And I’m going back to jail for a new charge.”
This time Frank went through complete withdrawal - in jail. Two weeks later, he went before the judge and told him the whole story.
“He looked at me right in the eyes and he says, ‘Frank, this is the first smart thing you’ve done your entire life.’ And it’s like I just started receiving all this mercy from the court that I’d never received before,” Frank said.
Frank had violated his probation and should’ve gone to prison; instead, the judge ordered him to go back to treatment.
“I’d be up all night - down in that same basement, reading the Bible,” Frank said. “We’d do our treatment during the day and I couldn’t wait to get back to the halfway house so I could get back into that New Testament. My old heroin dealer discipled me in the Lord and we had Bible studies at his home a couple times a week. That went on for about a year.”
After 60 felony convictions, 18 years behind bars and 30 stints in drug rehab, Frank finally changed.
“Jesus was the only way that would work for me - and He set me free where nothing else could,” Frank said.
More than a decade later, Frank is happily married and has a successful painting business. He says he’s confident in God’s mercy, because he’s experienced it firsthand.
“He knows what’s best for us. It’s not hopeless,” Frank said. “He’s there waiting for you to ask Him. Just let Him in.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.