David Gunn, MD, CCFP, FCFP, FRACGP, is a Canadian doctor who moved with his family to the Northern Rivers, NSW in 2017. He currently works in Lismore, as a GP with a special interest in paediatrics, mental health, sports medicine, addictions medicine, chronic pain and the medical use of cannabinoids. He is involved in teaching medical students, and provides education to GPs about medical cannabis.
The first 12 years of his career revolved around a small but busy general hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada, where in addition to his GP duties he worked in: emergency medicine, inpatient care, nursing home care, palliative care, and opioid replacement medicine.
“The history around drugs is always fascinating and often downright bizarre. Politics and the all-mighty dollar have shaped the laws and perceptions of some substances much more than the realities of their pharmacologic qualities. The opioid epidemic hit hard in Canada during the first decade of my medical career, and I have seen the suffering that misinformation about drugs can cause firsthand. Thankfully, I have also seen the benefits that harm minimizing programs like: needle exchanges, opioid replacement clinics and drug testing can provide.”
“Harm reduction to me is about taking a practical approach to drugs. People use drugs, so let’s arm them with good information so they can make the best decisions possible. My family and I love Australia and we feel fortunate to live here. My young children will soon be teenagers and the values and approaches put forth by Harm Reduction Australia match my own as a physician and a parent. I applaud their work.”