by Charles Slack
The first week in March is the anniversary of my last drink or drug. Thanks to Lord Jesus Christ, I’ve had nothing in my blood but blood since 3rd March 1976 – twenty-seven years of a clean brain. Why did I take drugs in the first place? Why did Adam disobey God and bite the fruit? We should have known better! Or we did know better but did it anyway.
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. Dr. Timothy Leary and others at Harvard obtained the drug from Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland. We had no idea it would be habit forming. At first we administered it under controlled conditions. However, as history relates, things rapidly got out of hand.1)http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/9487/heinylsd.htm
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 ghostwriting exam questions. Through drug-addict physicians, I got the supplies my habit demanded. Finally, I lost even that job, spent the night 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,2)http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/about.htm I found my way into “Twelve-step” programmes. Although I had difficulty identifying as an addict/alcoholic – after all, I had a Ph.D and they didn’t – nevertheless, I became alcohol and drug free. To date, facilitating my own recovery, I have attended thousands of 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 and I was barely able to keep my job and stay clean and sober.
I had not yet fully repented:
I was dry but still hanging on to old ideas and lacking in the joy of the Lord. However by November 1980, my mind was clear enough to perceive God’s Word. In the middle of a footy oval in Blackburn, Victoria at five in the morning, I sank to my knees and told God that I could not continue to run my life. He must take control or I would relapse onto booze and drugs. I was willing to do anything Jesus wanted. At that moment when, with my drug-free mind, I finally resigned as general manager of myself, Jesus set me free indeed! As a born-again Christian, I received the Holy Spirit, began to fellowship with the saints, and found great comfort and release from compulsion to drink and use drugs. I became an elder in and treasurer of a suburban church and then the pastor of a country church.
Over the years, Lord Jesus has used me to bring drug addicts to Him. I have worked in rehabilitation programmes and groups of all kinds including the Justice Department of Western Australia.
Currently, my wife Sue and I pastor the church in tiny Green Head WA 300km north of Perth. We also conduct seminars on recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse.
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