Marc Galanter, MD

GalanterDr. Galanter is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Psychological and Social Research on Addiction Recovery

The focus within the Department’s Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse is on the following areas: family and network therapy for substance abuse, pharmacologic treatment of addiction, peer-led treatment for substance abuse, and education in addiction psychiatry. Recent projects have examined psychological mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous and drug-free therapeutic communities, and the interface between spirituality and social support. This work derived from previous empirical studies on the psychological underpinnings of new religious movements and religious cults. These studies draw on a general body of work of Dr. Galanter and his team in the Division on the role of peer support in the treatment of singly and dually diagnosed addicts and the integration of peer support programs into ambulatory and residential facilities, therapeutic communities and systems change for such patients in these settings. This is augmented by collaborative efforts with international colleagues, and in the journal he edits, “Substance Abuse,” the official publication of the International Society of Addiction Medicine.

They have currently begun a long-term study on the interface between spirituality and interpersonal support in Twelve-Step movements. This is being done collaboratively with both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and is augmented by the participation of a multidisciplinary panel of experts who will be serving to integrate these findings into a broad range of academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, and psychological sciences. This is augmented by evaluation of a program designed to promote patients’ drawing on their spiritual resources to cope with psychiatric and medical illness in both general medicine, general psychiatry, and substance abuse programs. These findings are couched in a sociobiologic model which serves to clarify the adaptive nature of these functions from an evolutionary perspective.


Representative Publications

  1. Galanter M, Wyatt RJ, Lemberger L, Weingartner H, Vaughan TB, Roth WT: Effects on humans of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol administered by smoking. Science 1972; 176:934-936
  2. Galanter M: Engaged "Moonies": the impact of a charismatic group on adaptation and behavior. Arch Gen Psychiat, 40:1197-1202, 1983.
  3. Galanter M, Egelko S, DeLeon G, Rohrs C, Franco H: Crack/cocaine abusers in the general hospital: assessment and initiation of care. Am J Psychiatry 149:810-815, 1992
  4. Galanter M: Network therapy for addiction. Am J Psychiatry 150:28-36, 1993
  5. Galanter M, Dermatis H, Calabrese D: Residencies in addiction psychiatry: 1990 to 2000, a decade of progress. American Journal on Addictions 11:192-199, 2002
  6. Galanter M, Dermatis H, Glickman L, Maslansky R, Sellers MB, Neumann E, Rahman-Dujarric C: Network therapy: decreased secondary opioid use during buprenorphine maintenance. J Substance Abuse Treatment 26: 313-318, 2004
  7. Galanter M: Spirituality and recovery in Twelve-Step programs: an empirical model. J Substance Abuse Treatment 33: 265-272, 2007
  8. Galanter M: Spirituality, evidence-based medicine, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Am J Psychiatry 165: 1514-1516, 2008.
  9. Galanter M: Spirituality in psychiatry: A biopsychosocial perspective. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 23:145-157, 2010
  10. Galanter M, Dermatis H, Talbot N, McMahon C, Alexander MJ: Introducing spirituality into psychiatric care. J Religion Health 50: 81-91, 2011
  11. Galanter M, Dermatis H, Stanievich J, Santucci C: Physicians in long-term recovery who are members of Alcoholics Anonymous . Am J Addictions, in press.