Stanton Peele

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

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.

This site includes many of his widely read writings (see, for example, Why Addiction Isn't a Disease) and media appearances, including Oprah, Bill O'Reilly and Fox & Friends.

Created in 1996, this website is one of the oldest in the world. The goal then was the same as it is today: To make Stanton Peele's writings and ideas available to a large audience, for free if possible.

Please see the Online Library for a large collection of articles and book chapters written by Stanton Peele, or visit the Bookstore for his books. Stanton's Life Process Program is available as an online addiction program.

A Scientific Life on the Edge: My Lonely Quest to Change How We See AddictionStanton's Memoir: A Scientific Life on the Edge: My Lonely Quest to Change How We See Addiction

Stanton Peele wrote the most important addiction book of the 20th Century: Love and Addiction. His memoir is the most important addiction book of the 21st Century.

Stanton Peele has created a very different kind of addiction book—a memoir of his tumultuous career in the addiction field interwoven with his personal life story. Peele has formulated and applied (in a wide range of contexts) a conception of addiction—and its prevention and treatment—centered on a person’s life experience in their social environment. This has set him in opposition to the demonization of drugs. But he also opposes the ostensibly humane but actually disempowering notion of addiction as a disease. This wrongheaded idea views addiction as if it existed only in a person’s brain and body and not in the person’s mind and soul—and community.



Cover Outgrowing AddictionStanton’s New Book With Zach Rhoads:

Outgrowing Addiction: With Common Sense Instead of “Disease” Therapy

America’s drug scourge continues unabated, even while we pour resources into traditional disease therapy and 12-step programs. This book is about the evidence-based solutions that actually help, with practical information for parents, drug users, helping professionals, and policy-makers.

Read more about Outgrowing Addiction...

Stanton's latest work

Stanton’s 50-Year Addiction Report Card

Stanton began working on Love and Addiction (which was published in 1975) in 1970. In these forty years he has predicted a remarkable number of addiction trends. By now it is clear that the way in which Stanton has reframed addiction for the past four decades – sometimes facing extreme opposition – has been prescient. Addiction is not a consequence of taking drugs and drinking. Rather, it arises from the way in which these and other compelling activities fit into people’s lives and meanings.