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John Francis Kelly, PhD

Associate in Psychology

  • Phone: 617-643-1980
Department of Psychiatry
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
PhD, University of California San Diego Medical School
Fellowship, Brown University
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients

BiographyDr. Kelly is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School - the first endowed Professorship in the field of addiction medicine at Harvard. He is also the founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS) and the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH.

Dr. Kelly is President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology, and is also a Fellow of APA. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the national Institutes of Health (NIH); to non-Federal institutions, such as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; and internationally to foreign governments.

He is currently an Associate Editor for the journals, Addiction, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and chapters in the field of addiction. His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process which has included specific research on the effectiveness of mutual-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as adjuncts to formal care. His additional research endeavors have focused on the translation and implementation of evidence-based practice, addiction and criminal justice, addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of action, and reducing stigma associated with addiction. He is a licensed clinical psychologist actively working with individuals and families with alcohol and other drug use disorders

Dr. John Kelly at Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition

Dr. John Kelly discusses prescription drug abuse prevention at a seminar run by the Norfolk County Prevention Coalition

Kelly first incumbent to Spallin Professorship

John F. Kelly, PhD, associate director of the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine and program director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service, has been named as the inaugural incumbent of the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professorship in Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Words used to describe substance-use patients can alter attitudes, contribute to stigma

Changing the words used to describe someone struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction may significantly alter the attitudes of health care professionals, even those who specialize in addiction treatment.

Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may reduce depression symptoms

One of many reasons that attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings helps people with alcohol use disorders stay sober appears to be alleviation of depression. A team of researchers has found that study participants who attended AA meetings more frequently had fewer symptoms of depression – along with less drinking – than did those with less AA participation.

The effects of spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous on alcohol dependence

A new study shows that, as attendance at AA meetings increases, so do the participants' spiritual beliefs, especially in those individuals who had low spirituality at the beginning of the study.

Social contacts, self-confidence crucial to successful recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous

Among the many ways that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous helps its members stay sober, two appear to be most important – spending more time with individuals who support efforts towards sobriety and increased confidence in the ability to maintain abstinence in social situations.

Adolescents can benefit from 12-step involvement

An assessment of 12-step meetings and recommended activities has found that attendance, participation, and finding a sponsor promote greater abstinence among adolescents.

Women and men appear to benefit in different ways from AA participation

A new study finds differences in how participation in Alcoholics Anonymous helps men and women maintain sobriety. For men, avoiding companions and situations that encourage drinking had more powerful effects, while increased confidence in the ability to avoid drinking in response to feelings of sadness or depression was more important for women.

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms common among adolescents treated for substance use disorder

Although cannabis – commonly known as marijuana – is broadly believed to be nonaddictive, a study by MGH investigators found that 40 percent of cannabis-using adolescents receiving outpatient treatment for substance use disorder experienced symptoms of withdrawal, which are considered a hallmark of drug dependence.

Residential treatment may be first-line option for opioid-dependent young adults

An MGH study has found that a month-long, 12-step-based residential program linked to community-based follow-up care, enabled almost 30 percent of opioid-dependent participants to remain abstinent a year later. Previous research revealed that 83 percent of those who entered an office-based opioid treatment program had dropped out a year later.

Center for Addiction Medicine
151 Merrimac Street 6th floor
Boston, MA 02114-4714

Phone: 617-643-1980
Fax: 617-643-7667

Center for Addiction Medicine
151 Merrimac Street 6th floor
Boston, MA 02114-4714

Phone: 617-643-1980
Fax: 617-643-7667

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