Breaking Free from Addiction

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As well as popularising the phrase, “tune in, turn on, drop out”, Dr Timothy Leary was known around the world as being at the forefront of experimentation with drugs, especially LSD.

Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs such as LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison Experiment and the Marsh Chapel Experiment. Both studies produced useful data, but Leary and his associate Richard Alpert were fired from the university nonetheless because of the public controversy surrounding their research. Leary believed LSD showed therapeutic potential for use in psychiatry. – wiki

Back in those early days at Harvard there was a young professor of psychology named Charles Slack who also began experimenting with LSD and other drugs. Within a very short time he went from being a bright young academic to being a drug addicted mental hospital patient.

Dr Charles Slack has now been completely free of drugs of any kind for over 37 years but he says he still has to deal with his addiction every day.

Dr Charles Slack is well-known in Australian recovery circles. He gained a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Princeton University and became an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Harvard Psychological Clinic from 1955 to 1960.

He was amongst the first to experiment with LSD and as a result became addicted. In 1976, clean and sober in 12-Step programs, he migrated to Australia to start a new life.

Charles is now the chairman of B-Attitudes, a not-for-profit group that aims to facilitate the restoration of the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual lives of individuals and families who have been affected by substance misuse. He has turned his own experience into a way of helping others break free from addiction.

B-Attitudes is a charitable, not-for-profit organisation, founded 10 years ago by three people who have a heart for empowering individuals who want to recover from alcohol and drug addiction and work towards a drug-free lifestyle.

The founding directors are qualified Psychotherapists in Transactional Analysis, one a Certified Transactional Analyst in Psychotherapy. Two have a background in Registered Nursing and Midwifery. The Committee of Management contributes a wide field of expertise and the Chair is Dr. Charles Slack, Ph.D. who is himself a recovered addict with over 37 years ‘clean’ and sober.

Each of the three founding directors have 15 years experience in the field of alcohol and drug addiction and community-based recovery and related family care.

I recently had a fascinating chat with Charles about B-Attitudes and about his own journey to beating addiction. He even said that a current, popular television series displays the right way to fight drug addiction. Can you guess which show it might be?

You can hear our discussion by clicking the play button on the audio player below.

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