The Reminiscences of George De Leon

The Transcript

When the whole drug scene exploded in New York, the heroin epidemic of the 1960s, — I had gotten my Ph.D. degree in 1962 — so I was already a psychologist. But there were very few professional psychologists or psychiatrists, as you may know, that really knew anything about drug abuse. But I knew it from the street side of it. I wasn’t an addict and I wasn’t an active user, but I had been in among jazz musicians and comedy for years and it was all kind of very familiar to me.
— George De Leon

Biography:  George De Leon is a psychologist and academic (currently Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center, PhD from Columbia University) who conducted all of the early Phoenix House studies researching the mechanisms engaged in the therapeutic community. He researched at Phoenix House for 20 years (1967-1987), becoming intensely involved in the day to day of the organization. He wrote the textbook The Therapeutic Community. 

Keywords: Phoenix House; clinical psychology; Columbia University; therapeutic community; methadone; research; National Institute on Drug Abuse; rehabilitation; veterans