The addictions field is mourning the loss of Alan Marlatt, Professor in the University of Washington Psychology Department and Director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center, who died on March 14, 2011 at his family retreat in Warm Beach, Washington. His son Kit and daughter-in-law Ashley Marlatt, and his wife Kitty Moore-Marlatt were with him.
The major focus of Alan's research and clinical work was the field of addictive behaviors, especially relapse prevention and harm reduction, represented in part by more than 300 articles and numerous books he published.
In 1990, Alan was awarded the Jellinek Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to knowledge in the field of alcohol studies; in 2001, he received the Innovators in Combating Substance Abuse Award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Other honors include the Distinguished Researcher Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism in 2004, and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology Award by the American Psychological Association, in 2009.
Equally important is the legacy Alan leaves in personal and professional relationships.
Dr. Dennis Donovan, Director of the UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences sent a message to the addictions community at the UW informing them of Alan's death:
"Alan has been a mentor, friend, and colleague to many of us here at the UW, and his network of associates and those whom he has touched personally and professionally is extensive and international in scope.
We have lost a true visionary and luminary in the field of addictions.
He will leave his prints in our hearts and minds, and there is a cadre of us to carry on the important work that he has championed throughout his career."
Dr. Fred Rotgers, President of the Society of Addiction Psychology (APA Division 50), had this to say about his friend and colleague:
"It is ... impossible to recount briefly how much Alan has meant to the field of addiction psychology, to addictions treatment and research, and to substance users not in treatment through his advocacy of harm reduction approaches to addressing the needs of substance users. Alan also had a direct impact on many of us through his friendship, mentorship and genuine humanity. Just looking at the list of Presidents and officers of this Society reveals the impact Alan has had on the field, and the legacy he leaves behind."
Remembrances: An Appreciation page in Time magazine has a moving tribute by Maia Szalavitz, with comments left by those who knew and loved Alan. More personal thoughts and memories can be viewed on Facebook. Updated links to news stories and other acknowledgements will be posted on this site.
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You are invited to leave a note of remembrance using the "comments" tag at the bottom of this post.