Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Dr. Herbert Kleber’s pioneering work in addiction treatment. He was a renowned American psychiatrist and substance abuse researcher. On the 23rd anniversary of his election to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), Google pays tribute to Dr. Herbert.
This beautiful Doodle is illustrated by Massachusetts-based artist and author of the graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
From 1968 to 1989, he founded and headed the Drug Dependence Unit at Yale University, where he was Professor of Psychiatry. He then served for two and a half years as the Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the White House.
According to Google, describing his method as “evidence-based treatment,” Dr. Kleber viewed addiction as a medical condition as opposed to a moral failure. Rather than punishing or shaming patients, as many of his predecessors in the field had done, Dr. Kleber stressed the importance of research, helping to keep many patients on the road to recovery and avoid relapse through the careful use of medication and therapeutic communities.
At the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he and his then-wife Dr. Marian W. Fischman established America’s leading research program on substance abuse. During his 50-year career, Dr. Kleber was author or co-author of more than 250 papers, and the co-Editor of the American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, now in its fourth edition.
A self-described ‘perpetual optimist,’ Dr. Kleber changed the landscape of addiction treatment, allowing patients to be diagnosed and treated rather than shamed and saving countless lives in the process.
He received numerous prestigious awards and two honorary degrees. In 2014 it was reported that he serves as a paid consultant to the opioid pharmaceutical industry. He was also listed as one of the “Best Doctors in America” and “Best Doctors in New York”.