David Mee-Lee

David Mee-Lee is a leading expert in co-occurring substance use and mental disorders with over 30 years experience in person-centered treatment and program development. He is not your usual psychiatrist, nor is he your usual educator. He writes and speaks in down-to-earth, jargon-free language and makes learning challenging and enjoyable. Audiences consistently express satisfaction with his combination of rich content and practical approach delivered in his engaging style. His down-to-earth upbringing in Australia coupled with his Chinese heritage make for an interesting mix of dry humor and quiet wisdom.

David is a Board-certified psychiatrist and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). David has trained and consulted for hundreds of organizations, ranging from small mental health centers to government departments and national behavioral healthcare companies. David has also authored a number of book chapters and papers in a variety of professional publications. He is Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria

David's medical, psychiatric and addictions training began in his home country of Australia. From there it took him to Ohio, Massachusetts, Hawaii and eventually California. He has trained and consulted in almost every US state, and his international work has taken him to Australia, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.K.

Brief Bio & Educational Background

David Mee-Lee, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). He trains and consults both nationally and internationally. Dr. Mee-Lee has been the Chief Editor of all editions of ASAM’s criteria, including The ASAM Criteria – Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions, Third Edition (2013). Dr. Mee-Lee has over 30 years experience in person-centered treatment and program development for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. He is also a Senior Fellow, Justice Programs Office (JPO) of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University, Washington, DC.

Dr. Mee-Lee earned his medical degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1972. He earned an M.S. in Psychiatry from Ohio State University in 1976.

Key Credentials

  • Board-certified psychiatrist
  • Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM)
  • Chief editor of The ASAM Criteria

Academic Biography

David Mee-Lee, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

Past academic appointments have included clinical affiliations in the Departments of Psychiatry at Harvard University, the University of Hawaii and the University of California, Davis.

For over 30 years, Dr. Mee-Lee has focused on developing and promoting innovative behavioral health treatment that values clinical integrity, high quality and cost-consciousness. In addition, he has vast experience with co-occurring disorders treatment (addiction and mental illness) and program development.

Dr. Mee-Lee's past clients have involved both provider and practitioner groups, as well as managed care organizations. He was a consultant in the first major managed care Medicaid project for substance abuse in Massachusetts, as well as public sector managed substance abuse care in Iowa.

Professional Experience

  • Dr. Mee-Lee served as Associate Medical Director for Parkside Medical Services Corporation, from 1987-1993.
  • He was Vice President, Addiction Treatment Programs, for Monarch Health Corporation, from 1985-1987.
  • From 1986-1993, he was Psychiatric Consultant for New England Telephone's Employee Assistance Program and Medical Department in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • During 1977-1985 he held the following positions at New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts: Director, Addictions Treatment Unit; Assistant Chief of Psychiatry; and Director, In-service Education, Department of Psychiatry.
  • From 1977 to 1996, he continued a limited inpatient and outpatient private practice in psychiatry and addiction medicine before shifting to full-time training and consulting in 1996.
  • He joined The Change Companies® as a Senior Advisor in 2008.
  • In 2010, he was named Senior Vice President of The Change Companies®.

Professional Affiliations

His professional affiliations include the American Society of Addiction Medicine; American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry; American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

For many years, Dr. Mee-Lee was Chair of the Coalition for National Clinical Criteria. He co-chaired the development of a Treatment Improvement Protocol on Patient Placement Criteria for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. He was Field Representative of the National Coalition of Addiction Treatment Programs to the Hospital Accreditation Program Professional and Technical Advisory Committee of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Publications and Authorship

Dr. Mee-Lee has published many papers and book chapters on addiction. Among a variety of instruments he has co-authored is an instrument for individualized treatment planning, the Recovery Attitude and Treatment Evaluator (RAATE). He has also co-authored instruments for individualized treatment planning, including the Behaviors and Experiences Inventory (BEI), the Dimensional Assessment for Patient Placement Engagement and Recovery (DAPPER), and the Level of Care Index (LOCI). Dr. Mee-Lee has been Chief Editor of the American Society of Addiction Medicine's first, second, and third editions of The ASAM Criteria.

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