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Dr. Alfred Forrester named new Medical Director of Maryland Addiction Recovery Center

Maryland Addiction Recovery Center is proud to announce the promotion of psychiatrist Alfred Forrester, M.D., L.F.A.P.A, as the new Medical Director for Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. Dr. Forrester will oversee the medical department for MARC and patients in all levels of MARC programming, from the long-term extended care Community Living treatment program as well as community-based outpatient levels of care in Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and outpatient.


Previously, Dr. Forrester served as a staff psychiatrist for MARC. In his new role, he will continue to work with MARC psychiatrist Dr. Douglas Woodruff, nurse practitioner Gayle Blum, and medical coordinator Colleen Waterfield in collaboration with MARC Clinical Director Dr. Jennifer Richards and her clinical team to provide comprehensive treatment options and approaches for those MARC patients suffering from addiction and co-occurring disorders.


“Having been a provider of psychiatric services for roughly 30 years, I have spent most of that time diagnosing and treating a variety of the major psychiatric diagnoses: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, psychotic disorders and the various anxiety disorders – making use of both psychotherapy (talk therapy) and pharmacotherapy (medication management),” Dr. Forrester said. “And, during those years, we have seen the emergence of many new agents which have been efficacious in the reduction of the pain and suffering associated with those disorders. “Relatively early in my professional career, it is noteworthy that I spent some time providing psychiatric services in consultation with an addictions program associated with one of the local psychiatric hospitals. Once I had left that setting and entered a private practice, my clinical activities continued to be focused more heavily on the treatment of the psychiatric disorders, except for the fact that there was never any escaping from those challenging patients who presented with co-occurring conditions: concomitant psychiatric disorder(s) and substance use disorders (SUD’s).”


Dr. Forrester received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Yale University in 1975 and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, in 1979. He went on to complete an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA; and a residency in Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, followed by a clinical fellowship in Affective Disorders at the same institution. He has received academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Forrester has a breadth of clinical and research experience encompassing both public and private sectors, in academic, inner city clinic, hospital, and outpatient private practice settings. He has provided internal medical support on the inpatient services at the Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore, MD; he has been a full-time attending psychiatrist at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital; he was the first Director of Psychiatric Services at the Chase-Brexton Health Services; and he addressed mental health and addiction issues among the undergraduate population while serving as a Consulting Psychiatrist at the Towson University Counseling Center. Dr. Forrester has multiple published research articles in the area of affective disorder among populations of patients following myocardial infarction, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury; he is a Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the Maryland Psychiatric Society and the American Medical Association; and his achievements have been recognized by Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and the Continental Who’s Who Registry.


Dr. Forrester joined the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center staff in 2017 as a staff psychiatrist. He has been instrumental in keeping MARC as the forefront of the changing landscape of addiction medicine and how to implement medication interventions alongside the evidence-based clinical approaches used by the MARC clinical team of therapists.


“My coming to MARC last year was therefore a natural evolution of my career as a practicing psychiatrist in the context of the “epidemic” of chemical dependence, which has significant healthcare, socioeconomic and geopolitical ramifications,” stated Dr. Forrester. “Not only do we have access to a growing number of pharmacologic agents (medically assisted treatment, or MAT) which are instrumental in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with SUD’s; but we are at a crossroads in the understanding of brain structure and function – at both a cellular and molecular level – , which is aiding in the development of novel agents for the management of those co-occurring psychiatric disorders as well. Without turning our backs on the progress made in the compassionate treatment of addictive behaviors in earlier years, we must now incorporate evidence-based strategies in the neuropharmacological management of SUD’s and the concomitant psychiatric disorders.”


“We are thrilled to have Dr. Forrester take the helm of Medical Director here at MARC,” Maryland Addiction Recovery Center Executive Director Sam Bierman said. “When we began MARC, it was vital that we focused our resources on clinical and medical programming and oversight. To be a treatment program that truly treats co-occurring disorders, we recognize we need top medical professionals that understand how to work with the addicted population. In his time with MARC, Dr. Forrester has demonstrated his ability to truly understand how to work with this population and how to integrate medical and therapeutic approaches to produce best outcomes for our patients. We are excited to see how his leadership and support will aid MARC in continuing to be a leader in the addiction treatment space.”


Dr. Forrester went on to say, “As the recently appointed Medical Director of MARC, I am confident that the collective breadth and vision of the members of our staff will guide the treatment of co-occurring disorders well into the 21st century, and beyond. The integration of biopsychosocial and medical care, a focus on the development of personal educational and occupational goals, and our patients’ successful re-integration into society are hallmarks of the program at MARC of which we should be proud. However, just as important as the care of our patients is the component of community outreach: to date, in the form of providing family-oriented psychodynamic work and psychoeducation; and, moving forward, providing guidance to the educational needs of our followers: social workers, psychologists, medical students and physicians. I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have become an integral part of this dynamic organization.”


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or dual diagnosis issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our website at

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