Author: Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is the author (with Ilse Thompson) of Recover! An Empowering Program to Help You Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life. He was clinical director and designer of the Life Process Program for a residential rehab that is now an on-line program. His book, Addiction-Proof Your Child is a model for the emerging area of harm reduction in addiction prevention.

Stanton has been innovating in the addiction field since writing Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky, including addiction to activities and experiences other than substances, harm reduction, skills and coping approaches to recovery, values and purpose as antidotes to addiction, and mindfulness/self-acceptance (loving kindness) precepts shared with Buddhism. He has published 250 articles and 12 books, and has won career awards from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and Drug Policy Alliance.
  • Ph.D., J.D.; Licensed Psychologist, Attorney
  • Founder of Life Process Program; Lifetime Achievement Award, Drug Policy Alliance; Mark Keller Award, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
  • Life Process Program; Practical Recovery; Center for Optimal Living; Board Member SMART Recovery; Moderation Management; HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol
  • Addiction Treatment, Values and Purpose in Recovery, Natural Recovery, Prevention, Non-Addictive Child Rearing, Neuroscience, 12-Steps, Sensible Drinking/Substance Use
Helping People with Addiction Does Not Require “Putting Them Away”

In bringing treatment to the people who need it most, we must find the places where they can be helped without turning them over to the machinery of powerlessness.

When Love is Addictive…

People laugh at the notion of addiction to things other than drugs – like love – because they don’t understand addiction.

What Is the Purpose of an Intervention?

In the United States today, our goal is to shunt the troubled/addicted individual out of the home and into treatment. By itself, that doesn’t work.

How I Prevented My Kids from Being Alcoholics

My three adult children enjoy drinking, but aren’t alcoholics. Can you do this as a parent, even if you yourself have had a drug or alcohol problem?

Natural Recovery in “Room”

An Irish-Canadian writer and Irish director made a film about traumatized people that doesn’t diagnose them – what a miracle!

Two Sick Men

The stars of two new movies star decidedly deranged, however they can’t explain how they got that way.

Miley Cyrus: Model for Youthful Drug Use?

Miley Cyrus, unlike many former child stars, has a career plan. Miley’s, however, seems to include her drug use.

Love and Addiction, Part II: Amy Winehouse

Though Amy Winehouse drank herself to death, the alcohol was not her primary addiction. Amy’s lyrics make it clear that the troubled singer was, in fact, a love addict.

Which Is the Worst Addiction?

If you’ve ever tried quitting an addiction to drugs, alcohol or smoking, you know how hard it is to get sober. And yet, despite the difficulty, love addiction is harder to quit than any substance or chemical.

Baltimore: Epicenter of the Heroin Addiction Cauldron?

Are one in ten of your neighbors addicted to heroin? If you agree that is unlikely, it is important to examine Baltimore’s inner city in light of the recent death of Freddie Gray.

A Brief History of Disease Theory and Harm Reduction Treatment in the US

How we resolve these incompatible models of addiction will be the story of addiction treatment and policy in the 21st Century.

Addiction Prevention: Can Your Child Avoid Addiction?

The exposure model of addiction doesn’t make much sense, does it? We are no longer in the business of drug prevention. We are now practicing addiction prevention.

When and How Do You Help Crazy People?
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One time my wife and I took a long ride on a crowded bus. Several rows ahead of us sat a psychotic man who never stopped talking to himself. But he knew that I was listening.

How to Talk to Crazy People II: The Continuum from Normal to Crazy

This post is one in a series about how we separate ourselves from crazy people because they frighten us, and because we wish to make clear that we are not like them.

How to Talk to Crazy People

We are frightened of crazy people, for a variety of reasons. We want to show—if only to prove we are normal—that we know that they are crazy and to reject them.

The Addiction Therapist’s Guide to the 21st Century
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You may have to unlearn much of what you have been trained to do. In this new substance use world, here are five principles for counselors to remember in treatment.

Overcoming Trauma: Lessons from the Football Field

I like to focus with clients on examples of people who function well under stress. These people often turn such events to their advantage. Here is the case of Tom Brady.

What Was the Biggest Addiction Moment of 2014?

We asked our professional contributors to reflect on the year, and share with us the most shocking or significant event that left an impact on the addiction industry.

Deconstructing Psychopathy in Murder Podcast ‘Serial’

Are you following NPR’s podcast series? I am 90 percent sure Adnan Syed isn’t guilty. But let’s get one thing straight: psychopathy isn’t the issue – guilt or innocence is!

Do We Export Addiction?

Why would addiction and drug abuse be “at unprecedented levels” in Afghanistan, a country that has cultivated poppies and smoked opium indigenously for centuries? I’ll give you the top three reasons.

Don’t Blame Trauma for Your Addiction Problems

There is nothing more essential for you to rely on than your resilience if you want to avoid, or overcome, addiction. So I don’t dwell on childhood traumas…

Is the Bipolar Revolution Causing the Depression Epidemic?

Mania-depression was almost unknown in the United States, especially for children, into the 1970s. Today, the U.S. has the highest bipolar rate in the world. Why?

Is Janay Rice Mentally Ill?

By now we’ve all seen the elevator video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer. Ask yourself these five important questions about domestic violence and mental illness.

How Useful is Trauma as a Therapy Tool?

At some point well into our therapeutic relationship, because I felt badly for her loss and I wanted her to know I had experienced a similar event, I told her that my brother…

Robin Williams and The Cultural Delusion We Are Conquering Mental Illness

Robin Williams’ apparent suicide is being used as an argument for more mental health treatment. Does that argument – or the treatment – work?

7 Ways to Prove People Aren’t Born Addicts
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Alcoholism and addiction are rarely permanent—they are more likely to be so if you are convinced that they are. People working in the addiction field who don’t know this are guilty of malpractice…

Profile of a Heroin Scare

Vermont’s governor famously devoted his entire State of the State Address to Vermont’s heroin crisis. And, so, it was natural for a new heroin scare to be featured on NBC’s recent program…

Addiction Treatment is Changing

Five trends are driving a slow, but ultimately cataclysmic shift in addiction treatment. Together, these five insights point addiction treatment in an entirely new direction from that we have been pursuing for decades.