Schick Shadel Hospital’s founder, Charles A. Shadel, was a pioneer in the field of treating alcoholism. He developed the counter conditioning treatment program for substance abuse, and, in 1935, opened up a colonial mansion with the comforts of home for those who were then considered society’s outcasts – alcoholics.
Mr. Shadel believed that the only thing wrong with alcoholics was alcohol.
His philosophy was that the body, not the mind, was dysfunctional. He viewed alcoholism as a drug addiction and, together with Dr. Walter Voegtlin, a Seattle gastroenterologist, developed and tested a safe and effective formula to create a chemical aversion to alcohol.
The work of Shadel Hospital in Seattle continued quietly and effectively until 1964, when then-chairman and CEO of the Schick Safety Razor Company, Patrick J. Frawley, Jr., checked into the facility.
After the first day of the program, Frawley reported that he felt immediate relief from the compulsion to drink and, months later, was astonished to find that he still didn’t crave any of his favorite drinks.
Schick Safety Razor Company formed Schick Laboratories, Inc. with Frawley as chairman in 1965 and purchased the Shadel Hospital, investing $6 million in researching habit formation.
The research, under the direction of Schick Shadel Hospital’s Chief of Staff, James W. Smith, M.D., resulted in a program for nicotine addiction. Programs for cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines, prescription opioids and heroin were later developed by the Schick Shadel clinicians.
Today, Schick Shadel Hospital continues to treat patients using the evidence-based counter-conditioning techniques pioneered by Mr. Shadel.