Adi Jaffe is a nationally recognized expert on mental health, addiction and stigma. He coaches clients privately, lectured in the Psychology departments at UCLA and CSULB for nearly a decade and has an incredibly inspiring TEDx talk. He was also was the Executive-Director and Co-Founder of Alternatives, one of the most progressive mental health treatment facilities in the country.
Dr. Jaffe’s work focuses on changing the way Americans think about, and deal with mental health issues. He is passionate about reducing the role of shame in destroying lives and aims to greatly reduce the stigma of mental health in this country. In this context, Dr. Jaffe has used his personal experience as an incredibly effective inspirational and motivational tool.
Professor Jaffe attended UCLA, graduating with a B.A. in psychology. It was during his undergraduate career that Adi began struggling with drug issues himself, eventually leading to a 4 year hiatus from studies and into the Los Angeles drug-dealing world where he became quite successful. During that period of his life, Adi’s days looked more like a re-enactment of a beatnik novel or a Quentin Tarantino film that the life of an upper-middle class suburban kid. Following a SWAT team arrest in his apartment and a year-long jail sentence, Adi began rebuilding his life. This eventually led to the pursuit of a Master’s degree in psychology and his attainment of a Ph.D. from UCLA’s top-rated doctoral program in psychology, where he graduated with honors. Even before he graduated Dr. Jaffe’s name had become known through his online and academic writing. His views on addiction and his research on the topic have been published in dozens of journals and online publications and he has appeared on numerous television shows and documentaries discussing current topics in addiction and the problem of addiction as a whole.
Dr. Jaffe now writes for All About Addiction as well as for Psychology Today, and several other online and print sources. His goal is to bring the latest knowledge about addiction to the people who could benefit from it most – those who are suffering because of it. His writing combines personal experience with a decade’s worth of fine-detail research regarding the mechanisms involved in the addictive process.
Dr. Adi Jaffe’s letter to our readers in his own words
I’ve been studying issues related to drug-addiction, sex-addiction, and gambling-addiction for the past 8 years. I’ve been heavily involved in research on related conditions like HIV, Hepatitis, depression, and ADHD as well, making my understanding of addiction issues broad and varied. During this time I have been, and still am, learning a lot that I know can benefit those struggling with addiction as well as their family members, friends, and loved ones.
Whatever you’re comfortable calling addiction (disease, affliction, a moral failing) there’s no doubt that it’s having a great, negative, impact on those it affects. More than 500,000 deaths and a burden of more than $500 million dollars is attributed to substance abuse every year in the United States alone. It’s time we get real about the problem and stop using stigma and misinformation to hide behind.
I am most interested in learning about what I call “The pathway to addiction,” the ways people become addicted and the reasons they may stay stuck in addiction. I’ve learned a lot about about the genetic, behavioral, and environmental influences on addiction and drug-abuse. In creating the Alternatives Addiction Treatment Bio-Affective Management™ Program I’ve used that knowledge to benefit you.
As you likely know, I’ve had my own experiences with drug abuse and addiction, so my work in influences by my personal experience. Aside from my own experiences, I’ve seen literally hundreds of addicts and users through years of drug use. I hope to serve as a source of inspiration for struggling addicts who aren’t certain that they can still make something of their lives after all the devastation; I’ve been on both sides and I can assure you that it’s possible!
My goal is to use the latest research that we, as scientists, have uncovered about addiction to the public so that they can benefit now. Part of my work involves teaching university students and our clients about the addiction research I’ve been exposed to and the other part has to do with directly helping those who are struggling.
I want to do this because I feel that knowledge is a key ingredient not only in curing and fighting conditions (be they medical, academic, psychological, or otherwise), but also in simply being able to handle and accept things as they are more completely.
We tend to be more scared of things when we feel like we don’t understand them.
My writing, as well as the writing of other experts and addiction researchers, will hopefully allow you to understand addiction better, and therefore improve the way you approach it. That can do nothing but help in my opinion.
Credentials and Experience
Dr. Adi Jaffe holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Jaffe teaches courses at UCLA and California State University in Long Beach that address addiction specifically or biological psychology and behavioral neuroscience more generally. Well-known for his online and academic writing, Dr. Jaffe’s views on addiction and his research on the topic have been published on his own AllAboutAddiction.com (a website he started publishing while still in graduate school) as well as Psychology Today and dozens of other journals and online publications. He has appeared on several television shows including Good Morning America and in documentaries discussing current topics in addiction.
Dr. Jaffe’s view is a holistic one, drawing from the best and most recent research to bring as complete a solution to addiction clients. At A3, Dr. Jaffe serves as the Director of Research, education, and innovation and is in charge of our client monitoring, technology solutions, and data collections and outcomes research. His goal is to make A3 the best treatment program and resource there is.