I have known Dr. David McCartney, the Founder of Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme (LEAP), since around 2007. We continued to meet every time I was in Edinburgh, where my eldest daughter Annalie was doing her medical training in the early days. I loved visiting LEAP and spending time with the patients and staff.
It was so good to be there last year, after a number of years away. David had arranged a full day of meetings and groups for me which I thoroughly enjoyed. One thing which was very striking was the core staff who had been there over a decade earlier when I last visited were still working at LEAP. That says something pretty striking.
I am touched by David’s gratitude for his recovery and his commitment to helping others have the opportunities that he was offered as a GP. I greatly value our friendship and all that I have learnt from David.
I edited my interview with David, which took place at the end of March 2023, into a series of 15 films, totalling 76 minutes. These films cover the development of David’s drinking problem and an unsuccessful attempt at sobriety, the latter involving a medical approach focused on prescribing. In crisis, he later called the Sick Doctors Trust Helpline and was told a doctor’s personal recovery story. That telephone call gave him hope and the opportunity to take his own journey to recovery, starting in a residential rehab. David talks about setting up LEAP and about facilitating recovery in the community.
Here is David’s Film Teaser that I edited from our Zoom interview.
David McCartney is an addiction doctor with a background in inner-city GP practice. In 2006, after having recovered from his own addiction, he achieved a Masters degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies and went on to found the Lothians & Edinburgh Abstinence Programme (LEAP)—a residential rehab in Lothian, Scotland, delivered by the NHS and partners.
David was part of a group which revised the UK’s ‘Orange Book’ national guidelines and has published several academic papers. For the last decade he has been part of advisory groups on drugs policy to the Scottish Government and currently chairs the Residential Rehabilitation Development Working Group for them. Check out David’s Recovery Review blog.