Dr. Kelly is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, 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 Elect 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 Betty Ford Institute and the Hazelden Foundation; and internationally to the British Parliament Drugs Misuse Taskforce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An assessment of 12-step meetings and recommended activities has found that attendance, participation, and finding a sponsor promote greater abstinence among adolescents.
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.
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.
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.
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