Selected Papers of William L. White

Senior Research Consultant

Chestnut Health Systems

Biographical Info


William L. (“Bill”) White, Emeritus Senior Research Consultant at Chestnut Health Systems, graduated magna cum laude from Eureka College and obtained a Master’s Degree in Psychology / Addiction Studies from Goddard College. Japan Lecture Tour 2007 Japan Lecture Tour 2007 He has worked full time in the addiction treatment field since 1969 as a streetworker (indigenous outreach worker and community organizer), counselor, clinical director, administrator, and research associate. His early employers include the Illinois Department of Mental Health, several local addiction treatment and mental health agencies, the Illinois Dangerous Drugs Commission, and the Midwest training center of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He was one of the founding staff members of Ligththouse (Chestnut Health Systems, 1973) and, following positions in Chicago and Washington D.C., returned in 1986 to start Chestnut’s research and training division. He has provided training and consultation in 45 states and in Asia and Europe. Lecturing in the UK 2009 Lecturing in the UK 2009 A visible fixture on the addictions summer school and conference keynote/workshop circuit for more than two decades, Bill recently refocused his professional activity on recovery-focused consultations and professional writing.

Bill has authored or co-authored more than 400 articles, monographs, research reports and book chapters as well as 20 books. His articles have been published in such peer-reviewed journals as:

  • Addiction
  • Addiction Research and Theory
  • Advances in Dual Diagnosis
  • Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
  • Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly
  • American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • American Journal on Addictions
  • American Journal of Community Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice
  • Contemporary Drug Problems
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence
  • Drug and Alcohol Review
  • Employee Assistance Quarterly
  • Evaluation and Program Planning
  • IN SESSION: Journal of Clinical Psychology
  • International Journal of Self Help and Self Care
  • Journal of Addictive Diseases
  • Journal of Addiction Medicine
  • Journal of Addiction Treatment
  • Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
  • Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
  • Journal of Child Maltreatment
  • Journal of Drug Issues
  • Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery
  • Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
  • Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
  • Journal of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism
  • Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Journal of Teaching in the Addictions
  • Offender Substance Abuse Report
  • Perspectives: The Journal of the American Probation and Parole Association
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
  • The Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
  • Public Health Reviews
  • Recent Developments in Alcoholism
  • Religions
  • Social Work
  • Substance Abuse
  • Substance Use and Misuse

Bill has also written extensively for the many professional trade journals to reach those working on the front lines of addiction treatment, including:

  • Addiction Professional
  • Behavioral Healthcare
  • Behavioral Health Management
  • Counselor (more than 75 articles)
  • EAP Digest
  • Employee Assistance Report
  • Student Assistance Journal
  • Treatment & Recovery Industry Insider
  • Visions: National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
  • Addiction Today
  • Advances in Addiction & Recovery

Bill’s book, Slaying the Dragon – The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, received the McGovern Family Foundation Award for the best book on addiction recovery. Bill has also authored or co-authored books/monographs detailing the histories of the New York State Inebriate Asylum, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, and the history of recovery among Native American tribal communities. His other books focus on such diverse subjects as promoting organizational health of addiction treatment institutions, ethical issues in addiction counseling, American cultures of addiction and recovery, management of drug surges (oxycontin, methamphetamine), and the Chicago model of AIDS case management. He has also co-authored books to coach future generations of addiction counselors in the arts of professional training and writing.

Bill has been a visible recovery advocate. He is the past-chair of Recovery Communities United and has served as a volunteer consultant to Faces and Voices of Recovery since its inception in 2001. He has worked with recovery advocacy organizations all over the United States and has keynoted several recovery summits, including the historic St. Paul Recovery Summit in 2001. Bill’s widely read papers on recovery advocacy were published by the Johnson Institute in the book Let’s Go Make Some History: Chronicles of the New Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement. He has also served on the board of the Betty Ford Institute, the International Advisory Board of SMART Recovery, Dr. DuPont Presenting ASAM AwardDr. DuPont Presenting ASAM Awardthe Scientific Advisory Board of Phoenix House, the board of Wellbriety for Prisons, Inc., the Advisory Council of the Association of Recovery Schools, and the editorial boards of Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Counselor and Student Assistance Journal.

Bill has also been involved in a number of major public education efforts. He was featured in the Bill Moyers’ PBS special Close To Home: Addiction in America, Showtime’s documentary Smoking, Drinking and Drugging in the 20th Century, Bill W. and The Anonymous People, and served as a consultant to the HBO special Addiction.

Bill’s sustained contributions to the field have been acknowledged by awards from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, NAADAC: The Association of Addiction Professionals, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, Harvard Medical School / Department of Psychiatry, and the Native American Wellbriety Movement.

With Rita in Japan 2007With Rita in Japan 2007Bill spends his leisure time reading (mysteries/thrillers), tending his bamboo garden, searching out new restaurants in Southwest Florida with his wife Rita, and anticipating visits with his children Alisha and Troy. Bamboo Garden 2008 Bamboo Garden 2008

Career Reflections

2017 Interview by Dr. Andrea Barthwell in Counselor

Page Credits
Selected Papers of William L. White