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Drug user turns life over to God

Drug user turns life over to God

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 9:02 pm

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Evangel Trice’s life changed when he said “no” to drugs and “yes” to God.
Many years of drug and alcohol abuse came to an end in 1990 when he decided to quit running from God.
Trice, 58, encouraged Union City Elementary School fifth-graders to stay drug- and alcohol-free when he shared his testimony Thursday afternoon at the school’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) graduation.
When he stepped to the microphone, Trice told the students he brought along his “security blanket” — the Bible.
“I have to put God first,” he said, then prayed to seek God’s guidance over the important message he was about to share.
Trice said when he was about 16 years old, a friend persuaded him to try a marijuana cigarette. Within a couple of years, he was using marijuana on a regular basis and mixing his addiction with alcohol use.
After a couple more years, when he couldn’t afford marijuana, he started selling the drug.
“I was passing my addiction to somebody else,” he said.
Then, within a few more years, he turned to cocaine use and eventually started selling cocaine.
He said he tried to get away from the illegal drug activity when he accepted a job transfer. He was married with a son and decided it was time to get away from drugs.
But the move from Michigan to northwest Tennessee in 1983 left his then-wife unhappy and him depressed — which led to his returning to drug and alcohol use and selling drugs locally through his connections up north. He also ran into an old partner who introduced him to smoking crack cocaine.
Trice told the students about two instances when he could have died while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Ironically, both occurred within a short span and involved fires that broke out in his apartment while he had been cooking food.
Still, he kept dealing drugs and his life continued its downhill spiral. His first wife left him and he eventually found himself contemplating suicide.
“I put the gun to my head. I was ready to take my own life,” he said. “This is where Jesus stepped in.”
A friend began urging Trice to come to church with him and, although he avoided it for a couple of months and continued the drug use, the friend’s persistence finally resulted in Trice attending a worship service.
Then, on Sept. 9, 1990, Trice said, “The Lord said it was time to cut it out. I got saved.”
Trice related how several of his acquaintances ultimately died as a result of drugs — including one who suffered a massive heart attack, a woman who was cut into pieces, a former competitor who was shot to death, one who was found dead in a dumpster, one who was stuffed into a sewer and yet another who was found hanged.
“There is no good ending (to drug use),” he said. “Taking drugs is nothing.”
Trice, who now lives in Martin, has been a Christian for 20 years and is active in church mission work. He is married and has four children, including one in the U.S. Air Force and three who have chosen to attend college.
“I’m blessed,” he said. “Stay off drugs, stay off the streets, don’t drink. There’s no good ending to it. There really isn’t. Just say ‘no.’”
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Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.21.10

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