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About Dr. Stanton Peele - Addiction Expert

Stanton Peele is a psychologist who has changed the addiction field.

He is a world-renowned addiction expert, author and therapist, who has remained prominently at the forefront of the addiction field for four decades, challenging and changing the way people understand addiction and recovery.

He has pioneered, among other things, the idea that addiction occurs with a range of experiences, recognition of natural recovery from addiction, and the harm reduction approach to addiction.

“Stanton Peele is the pioneer.  He put these ideas out long before anyone else was thinking this way. These ideas continue to reverberate in the addiction world and influence many people, many besides me.”

Marc Lewis, Professor of neuroscience and author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and Addiction is Not a Disease:

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“Stanton Peele’s is a revolutionary approach to the treatment of addictions. This should be of enormous help to people struggling with them.”


Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Professor, University of Pennsylvania; creator of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

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“Stanton Peele is a true pioneer of addiction research and theory.

His ideas must be reckoned with by anyone who is serious about understanding addiction.”


Maia Szalavitz, author of Unbroken Brain:

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“Dr. Stanton Peele has been a trailblazer in the addictive behaviors field since the 70s, forecasting new ideas, riding the crest of each new progressive wave in the field, and sounding a call to arms in defense of each new development in the theory and technique for helping people with addictions recover.”

Dr. Andrew Tatarsky, leading American harm reduction psychotherapy advocate:

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“A psychologist who has been a pioneer behind the idea that addiction occurs in the context of a range of experiences and that a natural process of recovery is required through a harm reduction approach. Peele has been a leader (and a rebel) in the harm reduction and alternative approach to the addiction war for decades.”

Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., author of The Abstinence Myth:

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“The modern understanding of addiction and recovery begins with Love and Addiction. Unfortunately the recovery field and society have been slow to comprehend what Peele and Brodsky wrote. To read this book allows one to consider what we might have done about addiction since 1975, but have not done.”

Tom Horvath, Ph.D., former president of SMART Recovery:

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Out and about on the Web

Dr Peele is a regular author and contributor on a range of publications including:

You can also follow Stanton on his personal social media channels:

He has also been featured in a range of publications and podcasts including on Smart Recovery, Treatment MagazineThe Guardian and Alcohol Problems and Solutions.

And one of our all time favorite public appearances is this YouTube Clip from 1994 where Dr Peele robustly argues on the ABC Show that “Addiction is not a disease – and it never has been



  • Rutgers University Law School – J.D., May 1997.
  • University of Michigan – Ph.D., social psychology, May 1973.
  • Woodrow Wilson, U.S. Public Health, and Ford Foundation Fellowships.
  • University of Pennsylvania – B.A., Political Science, May 1967. Mayor’s and State Scholarships, cum laude graduate with distinction in major field, best dissertation in the social sciences.


  • Best Chemical Health Career, 2014, Muscala Chemical Health, Minneapolis, MN.
  • One of ten most influential addiction experts in America, 2011, The Fix.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006, International Network on Personal Meaning, Vancouver.
  • The Creation of the Annual Stanton Peele Lecture, 1998, by the Addiction Studies Program, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Alfred Lindesmith Award, 1994, from the Drug Policy Foundation (now Alliance), Washington, DC/New York.
  • Mark Keller Award, 1989, from the Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies, New Brunswick, NJ.

Current and Recent Positions

  • Development of on-line Life Process Program, 2012-present.
  • Developed Life Process Program, the basis for residential treatment at St Gregory Retreat Center. May 2008-2011.
  • Blogger for Psychology Today and Huffington Post. March 2008-present.
  • Forensic psychologist. Criminal responsibility, psychiatric and chemical dependence diagnoses and treatment abuses. 1987-present.
  • Advisor, American Psychiatric Association, DSM-IV-TR section on substance abuse.
  • Adjunct Professor, New School University. 2004-present. Series of workshops on addiction topics, including “The Meaning of Addiction,” “Evidence-Based Therapies or Addiction,” “Harm-Reduction Treatment,” etc.
  • Adjunct Clinical Professor, New York University School of Social Work. 2003-2007, including teaching courses, “History and Theory” and “Treatment Principles and Techniques” in the Post-Master’s Program in the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug.
  • Visiting Professor, Bournemouth University, UK. 2003-2010.
  • Addiction consultant. International and national lecturer. 1976-present.
  • Private psychologist, psychological consultant. 1976-2012.
  • Private attorney, New Jersey-New York. 1998-2012.
  • Pool attorney, Morris County Public Defender’s Office. 1998-1999, 2001-2003.
  • Editorial Board, Addiction Research. 1994-2002. Associate Editor. 2002-2010.
  • Fellow, Drug Policy Alliance. 1994-present.
  • Member, S.M.A.R.T. Recovery International Advisory Council. 1998-present.
  • Board of Directors, Moderation Management. 1994-2000.

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