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Who Is Dr Herbert David Kleber? Why Has Google Created Doodle To Honour Him

He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 19 June 1934. In case you are wondering why Google created Doodle on 1 October this year to honour Dr Herbert David Kleber, it is because on this day, 23 years back, he was elected as a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, a volunteer organization which provides health and medical-related advice.

A renowned American psychiatrist, this man dedicated more than half of his life in studying substance abuse and finding the possible treatments so that it can counter or at least reduce the impact of withdrawal in the patients.

Dr Kleber attended Dartmouth College and studied pre-med and it is there that he developed his passion for psychology.

What inspired him to take this as a life's mission is when he was assigned to the Public Health Service Prison Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. This was after he completed his psychiatric residency at Yale University.

Unlike his peers, he never saw addiction as a moral failure, rather he believed it is a condition that can be treated if proper research is done followed by medication and therapy.

Soon, he came up with a method which Dr Kleber called "evidence-based treatment" that completely depended on science and research. His method became so popular that it gained recognition from US President George H W Bush.

At the Office of National Drug Control Policy, he was appointed as the Deputy Director for Demand Reduction. Dr Kleber wrote various papers on substance abuse and he has also founded various centres.

At the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Dr Kleber and his then-wife Dr Marian W Fischman also established the Division on Substance Abuse, which later became one of the largest and most successful research programs on substance abuse in that country. He also co-founded the National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

It is sad that he passed away last year on 5 October 2018, but his work in the field of drug abuse will be remembered forever.

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