David regularly speaks at conferences and training programs and is available to speak on a variety of topics, including
- Mindfulness: What is it, how does it work and how will it change the future?
- Recovery from alcoholism: Maintaining sobriety and finding meaning
- Understanding addiction: From neurobiology to sobriety
- Interpreting the clinical literature: Workshop for medical professionals and members of the pharmaceutical industry. The purpose of the workshop is to enable delegates to identify bias, understand basic biostatistics and interpret the results of clinical studies and marketing material from a practical and clinically relevant point of view. Workshop duration is from 1 hour (e.g., for conferences) to 1 full day (full workshop with practical exercises), depending on requirements. To download a descriptive brochure (pdf), click here: Understanding clinical literature
- Training & educational presentations for various audiences including pharmaceutical employees, doctors and pharmacists (including CME); and public.
- Influential communication
- How to be the best pharmaceutical sales rep in the world
The Poetry of Addiction
An exploration into our common humanity
How could addiction possibly be a gift? And how could understanding it be something from which everyone could benefit?
To many of us, those questions might sound bizarre!
In active addiction, using drugs or alcohol is not a choice. The symptoms of addiction that we don’t talk about – hopelessness, depression, anxiety, fear, feelings of aloneness and isolation, and very importantly, anhedonia – an inability to find enjoyment in anticipation of life – trap us in a vicious cycle of using drugs and drinking. Life becomes devastatingly destructive, not only for the addict, but also for those around them.
And yet, are these feelings really so different from what everyone experiences from time to time? Perhaps addiction is actually just life amplified to the point of breaking.
So, if an addict is to remain sober, recovery from active addiction means more than just not using drugs or drinking. It means learning to live differently. Pursuing a new life in which we can find contentment and flourish.
Paradoxically, that does not demand that we change. It merely requires us to let go, so that we can grow into who we can be. To experience life from moment to moment and to find meaning in being present to each other. In sharing our common humanity. And anyone can learn to do that. That is why it works – and profoundly changes the course of our lives for the better.
This is the gift of addiction – being reduced to the point of despair where we are forced to face ourselves. Our own awareness and thinking. Our humanness. To take a different path.
Most other people never get that opportunity.
Through experience in recovery from addiction and work in clinical medicine and multinational corporate; and the privilege of guiding recovering addicts to a life with purpose and meaning, David shares with his audience a deep understanding of what it means to face being human. And how all of us can learn from addiction recovery. Intertwined with his honest and blunt, but deeply compassionate poetry, the deepest expression of experience, he explores why it is essential now, more than ever, that we re-establish our sense of common humanity and connection to others in a world where technology, social media, financial gain, discontent and growing inequality increasingly distance us from each other.
David’s poetry and experience of recovery are captured in his book, The Saint Of Travellers: A doctor’s journey through depression, addiction and into enlightenment.