Unlike his opponent, Dr. Joe Bradley wasn’t born into paternal privilege, assigned a generational number, bathed in purified water from Artesian wells on the family ranch and set lightly on the rose-pedaled path to Easy Street.
Joe comes from a blue-collar, middle-class family and is a self-made Nevadan by choice, not birth.
He was born on December 12, 1964 in South Amboy, NJ to military parents: His father was in the Marines (combat Korea); mother in the Navy. The family eventually moved to the Bay Area in northern California.
While Joe’s opponent grew up in the “It’s who you know” culture of insider perks and privilege, Joe made a success of his life the old-fashioned way: He earned it.
And Joe has never forgotten this wisdom passed on from his father: “Everything you have can be taken from you except for your integrity; That you have to give away.”
After graduating from high school, Joe joined the Patterson Police Department in Stanislaus County just east of San Jose where he experienced both the highs and lows of this dangerous public safety occupation.
In 1989, he was named “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” for saving the life of a six-week old child. But he was also injured on the job trying to arrest a violent PCP suspect. He still suffers to this day from injuries he obtained.
As a law enforcement officer, Joe arrested many people for alcohol and other drug-related crimes. He saw first-hand how addiction and substance abuse cost people their families, their cars, their homes, their freedom and even their lives.
Then the tragedy of addiction showed up in his own home
One day he noticed his wife stumbling out of the car after picking up their 2-year-old daughter from daycare. Not long after, she was arrested for DUI … with their daughter in the car.
But she refused to admit she had a problem and refused to get help.
Then one-day, Joe was called from work to pick up his daughter from the daycare center because his wife hadn’t shown up to get her. Joe found his wife passed out in the parking lot behind the wheel of the car.
Still, she refused to get help. So Joe and his daughter moved out, ending the marriage.
Because of this terribly painful personal experience, Joe came to realize that incarceration alone won’t fix the problem.
So after many years of service, he left the police department, went back to school, got a degree in substance abuse counseling and became a board-certified professional “Addictionologist.”
He began teaching and educating in classroom settings and seminars, as well as consulting with treatment centers, hospitals and colleges all across the country. He also created a trauma treatment class for U.S. military veterans and first-responders.
In 2001, Joe and his daughter relocated to Las Vegas where he opened his own healthcare practice.
Then the addiction disease tragically struck home again
His daughter – who had always done well in school and excelled in sports – fell in with a bad crowd when she got in high school. She began secretly drinking at parties, quickly followed by experimentation with drugs. Every parent’s nightmare.
By her senior year, his daughter was experimenting with other drugs like using crystal meth. She stole money from his wallet, took prescription pills from his medicine cabinet, and lied about it the entire time. She would sneak out at night and had people deliver drugs through her bedroom window.
Eventually, Joe knew this was becoming a critical situation and had to make one of the most painful decisions a parent will ever have to face:
He had no choice but to kick her out of the house.
Thankfully, the story has a happy ending
After some time on the streets and hitting rock bottom, Joe’s daughter picked up the phone and texted “Daddy.” They got on the phone and she told Joe she’d do anything to come home. That was August 2007.
Joe immediately booked her on a flight, got her into a recovery program – and his daughter has stayed sober ever since. “In short,” Joe said, “she’s my little girl again, only much better.”
Joe has since remarried, is the father of four and grandfather of three.
Not every family is as fortunate as Joe and his daughter. He committed himself to sharing his story and helping as many others as he possibly could.
In 2015 he wrote a highly acclaimed book, “Addiction: From Suffering to Solution.” It describes the painful details of his personal experience with family addiction and explains how others facing similar tragic circumstances can overcome the disease and beat it.
- “This book is the most comprehensive, sensible and understandable treatise on addiction, treatment and recovery that I have encountered,” writes Michael Adams, Director of Clinical Operations for Solutions Recovery, Inc.
- “Dr. Bradley provides hope for any reader that a full and complete recovery from addiction is not only possible, but promised to those who attend to this wisdom,” adds Dr. Donald Posson of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling program at National University.
The Next Chapter
Dr. Bradley is an Associate Member of the American Psychological Association and, over the years, has consulted with legislators and persons within the justice system while teaching hundreds of doctors, nurses, therapists and counselors how to better understand and successfully treat addiction.
He currently operates a very successful family-owned and operated private practice providing education and health care for chronic pain, mental health and addiction, with offices in both Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada.
Joe’s experiences dealing with addiction and substance abuse – both deeply personal and professional; from both the law enforcement and treatment side of the equation – give him a unique perspective on how these problems affect social issues and public policy; from crime to homelessness and even education.
He also recognizes the “warning signs” that too many elected officials and state legislators – from both parties – are addicted to government programs that don’t work, abuse tax dollars, and remain in denial about the failure of their “solutions.”
As such, Joe is now running as a candidate for the Nevada State Legislature representing Assembly District 36.
Joe’s Rap Sheet
- Favorite Foods: Lasagna and Pizza
- Favorite Athlete: Derek Jeter
- Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
- Favorite Sport: Football
- Favorite performer: Elvis
- Favorite Political Figure: George Washington
- Favorite Movies: Jaws, Godfather, Gladiator
- Favorite Leisure activity: Spending quiet time with family, watching a good movie, cooking and preparing for old-fashioned family meals
- Favorite pastimes: Shooting, Martial Arts (Krav Maga)
- Favorite Book: Art of the Deal
- Favorite Psychologist: B.F. Skinner
- Favorite Coaches: Bill Belichick, John Madden
- Favorite TV Channels: Fox News and the History Channel
- Favorite Firearm: Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum