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Survival of the Coolest:
William Pryor, a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, was a heroin and then alcohol addict for twelve years in the sixties and seventies. He brushed death several times, but, against overwhelming odds, survived, and, in 1975, was one of the first patients at the first American-style addiction treatment centre in Europe. He grew up in Cambridge in the stifling bosom of privilege; was sent to Eton, which he loathed, and rapidly descended into full-blown addiction as he traveled through Parisian garrets, Greek tavernas and Indian ashrams - and even Trinity College Cambridge. He became part of the sixties avant garde counterculture as a dadaist beat poet in the company of members of Pink Floyd. His experiences - and subsequent transformation to non-addiction - have given him a unique insight into the world of hard drugs and addiction, and his clarity of vision as to the way forward for all those involved in the fall out of the War on Drugs will be invaluable both to the victims and to those engaged in attempting to help them. William presents a compelling argument as to why drugs should be decriminalized. He also gives a powerful analysis of the pervasive mythology of Alcoholics Anonymous and how it traps people in the idea that addiction is an illness. [via]