Google honoured the incredible work of Dr Herbert David Kleber, who pioneered addiction psychology, with a Doodle on the 23rd anniversary of his election to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr Kleber, a renowned American psychiatrist and substance abuse researcher, passed away last year.
Born on June 19, 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr Kleber attended Dartmouth College, where he studied pre-med and discovered his passion in psychology. However, his life’s mission began only after he was assigned to the Public Health Service Prison Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, upon completing his psychiatric residency at Yale University.
The American psychiatrist never viewed addiction as a moral failure unlike his contemporaries. Rather, he believed addiction to be a condition that could only be treated through research, medication and therapy.
That addiction needs a new, scientifically-backed approach for successful treatment dawned upon him during his days as a doctor in a jail in Kentucky.
Eventually, Dr Kleber came up with a method he called “evidence-based treatment” that relied on research and science to change the path of addiction. His work was recognised by former US President George H W Bush. He was appointed as the Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Dr Kleber founded various centres aimed at treating addiction and wrote numerous papers on the subject.
Besides co-founding the National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Dr Kleber and his then-wife Dr Marian W Fischman established the Division on Substance Abuse at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons - which would later become one of the largest and most successful research programs on substance abuse in the country.
On October 01 in 1996, Dr Kleber was elected to be a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.