Throughout the year, Google devotes time to celebrate some of the unsung heroes of the world on their homepage. The latest Google Doodle honors the late Dr. Herbert Kleber, one of the pioneers in substance abuse and addiction therapy.

Dr. Herbert Kleber was among the first to propose that addiction was a medical problem, not a moral issue. His work within the Kentucky prison system laid the groundwork for addiction treatment as we know it today. Using “evidence-based treatment,” Dr. Kleber performed in-depth, personalized research to find a genuine medical solution to each of his patients’ struggles. Dr. Kleber passed away October of last year, and this morning’s Google Doodle honors him on the 23rd anniversary of his election to the National Academy of Medicine.

The doodle was contributed by guest artist Jarrett Krosoczka, who, as explained in a Google Blog post, has a personal connection with Dr. Herbert Kleber’s work. Jarrett’s own mother battled with opioid addiction from an early age all the way to the end of her life. This originally led him to think she was just making poor decisions, before coming to a new understanding of his mother’s struggles through Dr. Kleber’s work.

Dr. Herbert Kleber

In the Google Doodle, we see Dr. Herbert Kleber sitting across from a patient, listening and taking notes. On the right side of the doodle, the artist has included the powerful, evocative image of the patient’s inner psyche being lifted from despair to walking free. A miniaturized version of the illustration of Dr. Kleber is also included on the search results page.

With the usual doodle explanation, Google has also taken time to note that they’ve been making both monetary and technological contributions to help those who are struggling with addiction or have a loved one in need.

To help families dealing with addiction, Google has given over $1 million worth of contributions to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (PDFK) this year and worked with PDFK to show up for people who are seeking support. When someone searches for relevant queries such as “teen drug addiction” on Google or YouTube, they get the number to call an experienced parent coach who works with caregivers to develop individualized plans for helping loved ones with substance use. You can also find local and national helplines on our Recover Together site.

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