Substance Abuse, Addiction, Program Evaluation, Drug Abuse Treatment, Community Interventions, Public Health, Neighborhood Effects


Professor Stahler is a clinical psychologist who has been with the Department of Geography and Urban Studies since 1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and geography at Clark University, his master’s in geography from the University of Toronto, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from Temple University. His research interests and publications have focused on addiction, particularly on developing and evaluating social interventions for addressing the problem of substance abuse. Most recently, Dr. Stahler has been collaborating with Dr. Jeremy Mennis in the department and other investigators to examine how spatial relationships and neighborhood characteristics influence substance abuse outcomes using geographic information systems (GIS). He also recently helped organize, and currently serves on its steering committee, the Temple University Substance Abuse Research Consortium (TUSARC), a university-wide network of members of the Temple community engaged in research in the area of substance abuse. Dr. Stahler has been particularly involved in developing and evaluating community-based treatment interventions for substance abuse among indigent populations. He co-edited the book The Effectiveness of Social Interventions for Homeless Substance Abusers (Stahler & Stimmel, 1996, Haworth Press) as well as a special issue of Contemporary Drug Problems (Stahler & Cohen, 1995a) devoted to qualitative research findings concerning treatment for homeless substance abusers.

He has been involved as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on a number of research grants mostly focusing on substance abuse, including grants funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. He was also recently a Co-Investigator on a NIDA-funded grant examining ways to enhance drug treatment effectiveness for offenders (CJ-DATS-2) by improving assessment practices in criminal justice organizations through the use of an organizational process improvement intervention. Dr. Stahler is an elected member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), serves as an ad hoc member of the Board of Directors of Gaudenzia, the largest drug treatment provider in Pennsylvania; and also serves on the Board of Directors of Prevention Point, a Philadelphia community based multi-service harm reduction health and syringe exchange program. In addition, Dr. Stahler enjoys teaching an undergraduate course on “Drugs in Urban Society” as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which involves having a combined class of Temple students and incarcerated men or women conducted within a prison based setting. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Stahler was Associate Vice Provost for Research at Temple University. He has also served as Director of Evaluation Research at the National Center for Family Studies at Catholic University, has been a Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and worked as a private practice clinician. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys hiking and photography.

Selected Publications

  • Stahler, G., Mennis, J., Baron, D.A. (2013). Geospatial technology and the Exposome: New perspectives on drug addiction. American Journal of Public Health, 103, 1354-1356.
  • Stahler, G., Mennis, J., Belenko,S., Welsh, W., Hiller, M., & Zajac, G. (2013). Predicting recidivism for released state prison offenders: Examining the influence of individual and neighborhood characteristics and spatial contagion on the likelihood of reincarceration. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40, 690-711.
  • Mennis, J., Stahler, G., & Baron, D. (2012). Geographic barriers to community-based psychiatric treatment for drug dependent patients. Annals of the Association of American Geographers,102, 1093-1103.
  • Stahler, G., Mennis, J., Cotlar, R., Baron, D.A. (2009). The influence of the neighborhood environment on treatment continuity and rehospitalization for dually diagnosed patients discharged from acute inpatient care. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 1258-1268.
  • Stahler, G., Kirby, K., & Kerwin, M. (2007). A faith-based intervention for cocaine-dependent black women. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 39, 183-190.
  • Stahler, G., Mazzella, S., Mennis, J., Chakravorty,S., Rengert, G., Spiga, R. (2007). The effect of individual, program, and neighborhood variables on continuity of treatment among dually diagnosed individuals. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 87, 54-62.
  • Stahler, G., Shipley, T.E. Jr., Kirby, K., Godboldte, C., Kerwin, M.E., Shandler, I., Simons, L., & Kerwin, M.E. (2005). Development and initial demonstration of a community-based intervention for homeless, cocaine using, African-American women. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 28, 171-179.
  • Stahler, G., & Cohen, E. (2000). Using ethnographic methodology in substance abuse treatment outcome research. Journal Substance Abuse Treatment,18, 1-8.
  • Cohen, E., & Stahler, G. (1998). Life histories of crack-using African-American homeless men: Salient themes. Contemporary Drug Problems, 25, Summer, 373-397
  • Stahler, G., Godboldte, C., Shipley, T., Shandler, I. , Ijoy, L., Weinberg, A., Harrison-Horn, N., Nichols, C., Simons, L., & Koszowski, L. (1997). Preventing relapse among crack-using homeless women with children: Building Bridges to the Community. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 15, 53-66.
  • Stahler, G., & Stimmel, B. (Eds.). (1996). The effectiveness of social interventions for homeless substance abusers. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Stahler, G., & Cohen, E. (Eds.) (1995). Homelessness and Substance Abuse in the 1990s: Qualitative Studies from Service Demonstration Projects. [Special issue]. Contemporary Drug Problems, 22.
  • Stahler, G. (1995). Social interventions for homeless substance abusers: Evaluating treatment outcomes. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 14, xv-xxvi.
  • Stahler, G., Shipley, T., Bartelt, D., & DuCette, J. (1995). Evaluating alternative treatments for homeless substance-abusing men: Outcomes and predictors of success. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 14, 151-167.
  • Stahler, G., & Cohen, E. (1995). Homelessness and substance abuse in the 1990s. Contemporary Drug Problems, 22, 169-191.
  • Stahler, G., Cohen, E., Greene, M., Shipley, T., & Bartelt, D. (1995). A qualitative study of treatment success among homeless crack addicted men: Definitions and attributions. Contemporary Drug Problems, 22, 237-264.
  • Stahler, G. (1995). Improving the quality of evaluations of federal human services demonstration programs. Evaluation and Program Planning, 18, 1-13.
  • Stahler, G., & Tash, W. (1994). Centers and institutes in the research university: Issues, problems, and prospects. Journal of Higher Education, 65, 540-554.
  • Stahler, G., Cohen, E., Shipley, T., & Bartelt, D. (1993). Why clients drop out of treatment: Ethnographic perspectives on treatment attrition among homeless male “crack” cocaine users. Contemporary Drug Problems, 20, 651-680.
  • Penn, M., Stahler, G., Shipley, T., Comfort, M., & Weinberg, A. (1993). Returning home: Reintegration of substance abusing African-American mothers. Contemporary Drug Problems, 20, 473-497.
  • Stahler, G., Shipley, T., Bartelt, D., Westcott, D., Griffith, E., and Shandler, I. (1993). Retention issues in treating homeless polydrug users. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 10, 201-215.
  • DuCette, J., Stahler, G., & McBride, D. (1989). Assessing the quality of evaluations of adolescent pregnancy care programs. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 12, December, 453-466.
  • Stahler, G., Frazer, D., & Rappaport, H. (1984). An evaluation of a ward remodeling program in a psychiatric geriatric ward. Journal of Social Psychology, June, 101-113.
  • Tash, W., & Stahler, G. (1982). Enhancing the utilization of evaluation findings. Community Mental Health Journal, Fall, 180-189.
  • Stahler, G., & Tash, W. (Eds.). (1982). Innovative approaches to mental health evaluation. New York: Academic Press.

Courses Taught

  • GUS 5165 Community-based program evaluation
  • GUS 4013 Drugs in Urban Society- “Drugs In Urban Society” is taught as a campus-based version as well as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. In the latter version, the course brings together Temple undergraduates with incarcerated men who are in a prison-based drug treatment program, and the course is conducted as a single class with both groups of students.
  • GUS 8097 Research Design
  • GUS 4197 Research Methods
  • GUS 2197 Research Design in Geography and Urban Studies

Media Mentions

Professor Jerry Stahler Featured in WalletHub
via WalletHub on May 10, 2022

Professor Jerry Stahler Featured in WalletHub

Professor Jerry Stahler was featured in WalletHub's recent study about Drug Use by State.