History of Schick Shadel Hospital

Serving Patients Nationwide from Our Center in Seattle, Washington

Schick Shadel Hospital’s founder, Charles A. Shadel, pioneered many of the treatments for alcoholism we use today. He developed the counter conditioning treatment program for substance abuse, and in 1935 he opened up a colonial mansion with the comforts of home for those who were then considered society’s outcasts: alcoholics.

For 80 years Schick Shadel Hospital (SSH) has been committed to providing a supportive and compassionate environment and the highest level of patient care and satisfaction to the diverse population we serve. SSH embraces patients of different race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation age, national origin, disability, marital status, and effective, unique and proven medical treatment for people with substance use disorders to help them live a clean and sober life.

Mr. Shadel believed that there was nothing inherently wrong with alcoholics. Rather, alcohol was the problem. His philosophy rejected that there was something wrong with the alcoholic's mind, and focused on dysfunctions in the body. He viewed alcoholism as a drug addiction, and with Dr. Walter Voegtlin, a Seattle gastroenterologist, he created a safe way to avert alcoholics from 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 just his first day, Frawley said he was freed from the desire to drink, freedom that lasted even months later.

Schick Safety Razor Company formed Schick Laboratories Inc. with Frawley as chairman in 1965, and it 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, 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.

Our carefully developed alcohol and drug detox techniques aid in alleviating the distress of substance withdrawal, and include:

  • Evaluating medical problems that may impact the detox process
  • Administrating medications to offset symptoms
  • Giving attention to nutritional repair
  • Assessing any continuing needs following detox

*#1 success rate for treating alcoholism based on results of a verified survey of former patients (success being measured as total abstinence for one year and assessed by self-evaluation), as against published success rates from verified, comparable studies of other medical institutions.