David C. Lewis is the Donald G. Millar Emeritus Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University, a position he has held since 2012. Throughout his tenure, he has been an advocate for the clinical treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, fighting against the criminal justice system’s method of imprisoning addicts in an effort to treat their disorders. Dr. Lewis has been a renowned figure in his field, describing and shaping addiction with medical terminology during a time when the “war on drugs” was rampant.
Serving Brown University for more than 35 years, Dr. Lewis has held a number of roles within the university, including the Donald G. Millar Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies, professor of medicine and community health, director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, chairman of the department of community health, and director of the alcoholism and drug abuse program. He commenced his career as a student at Brown University, earning a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1957. He subsequently attended the prestigious Harvard University, graduating with a Doctor of Medicine in 1961. Soon thereafter, he completed internships and residencies at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and eventually completed a fellowship at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Hospital. He was also honored as a Sloan Foundation Fellow at Harvard University.
In 1976, Dr. Lewis co-founded the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, serving as president from 1983 to 1985 and the executive editor of its quarterly journal in 1984. Presently, he serves as chairman of his local chapter of The COPE Foundation. In an effort to share his breadth of knowledge with the community, he has authored several articles for professional journals, as well as the book “The Drug Experience: Data for Decision Making” in 1970.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements, Dr. Lewis has accrued several accolades throughout his impressive career. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Addiction Medicine, he was the recipient of the Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecturer Award from Harvard Medical College and the Award for Excellence in Medical Education from the Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. In addition, he was presented with the American Medical Association Award, the Silver Key Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Behavioral Health Leadership.
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