My History of Drug Abuse and Recovery

Charles Slack, Ph.D.


Charles and Sue Slack, 13/287 West Coast Highway, Scarborough Beach WA 6019 AUSTRALIA

Telephone: (618) 9245-2297; FAX: (618) 9245-2020; Internet: mallee@pdo.net.au


In the early 1960s, when it was still legal, I began experimenting with the drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). At first, my drug use could be called genuine research. Timothy Leary and others at Harvard obtained the drug from Sandos Laboratories in Switzerland administering it, initially, under controlled conditions. However, as history relates, things rapidly got out of hand.

Personally, the results were disastrous. I took other hallucinogens and graduated to opiates, barbiturates and large quantities of alcohol. During this period, 1961-76 my CV is deceiving. Actually, my career went into reverse. Working my way down the academic ladder, I finished up in Alabama writing test items for a medical school. They gave me a title but the job really consisted of ghost-writing exam questions. Through drug-addict doctors, I got the supplies my habit demanded. Finally, I lost even that job, spent nights in the drunk-tank of the Birmingham City Jail where I amused guards with stories about once being a Harvard professor.

Through the efforts of a criminologist (Professor Alex Bassin of the University of Florida), I found my way into "Twelve-step" programs. Although I had initial difficulty identifying as an addict/alcoholic - after all, I had a Ph.D. and they didnít - nevertheless, I became completely alcohol and drug free. No mind- or mood-altering drugs for me since 3 March 1976. To date, facilitating my recovery, I have attended over five thousand meetings and spent considerable time helping others to stay clean and sober.

In October 1976, when I was seven months off drugs, I migrated to Australia to work in the Welfare Department of the State of Victoria. It was not easy to adjust to a new job, a new country, and a new state of mental health all at the same time, but I was able to keep my job and stay clean and sober. In 1980 I became a born-again Christian, received the Holy Spirit and found great comfort and release from compulsion. Jesus set me free indeed! My pastor says I continue to make spiritual progress. I am an elder in and treasurer of my church.

Over the past twenty-one years, Lord Jesus has often used me to bring drug addicts to Him. I have worked extensively in rehabilitation programs and groups of all kinds including drug rehab centers and the Department of Corrective Services of Western Australia where I held recovery meetings in the historic old Fremantle Prison,

Currently, my wife and I hold seminars on recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse for church leaders and pastors from all over Western Australia

Copyright © 1997, Charles W. Slack. All Rights Reserved.