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David E. Smith is a medical doctor from the United States specializing in addiction medicine, the psycho-pharmacology of drugs, new research strategies in the management of drug abuse problems, and proper prescribing practices for physicians. He is the Founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics of San Francisco, a Fellow and Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Past President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, Past Medical Director for the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Past Medical Director for the California Collaborative Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research, and former adviser to the Betty Ford Center. Current appointments include Chair of Adolescent Addiction Medicine at the Newport Academy in Southern California and Medical Director for Center Point drug rehabilitation centers. Smith is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Smith is the Founder and Publisher of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, which has been published since 1967. Additionally, he is co-author of the textbook "Clinician's Guide to Substance Abuse" (ISBN 978-0071347136) and co-author with Dr. Daniel Amen of the book "Unchain Your Brain" (ISBN 978-1886554382), which provides practical tools for addiction patients and addiction professionals.

Haight Ashbury Free Clinics

On June 7, 1967, Smith founded and opened the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic in San Francisco, CA on Haight Street as a response to the medical needs of thousands of young people who descended upon San Francisco for the Summer of Love. The Clinic still operates today in San Francisco and continues to serve those without adequate health insurance.

Smith served as Medical Director of the clinic for 39 years, since its inception. He resigned from the clinic in February 2006 amid legal, medical, and business disputes with the current Clinic administration.

Haight Ashbury Free Clinic Benefit Concerts

The Clinic was initially funded through proceeds of benefit concerts, many of which were organized by Bill Graham (promoter). The first of such benefit concerts took place on July 13, 1967 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. Another, titled "Dr. Sunday's Medicine Show", took place on October 8, 1967 in San Jose, CA.

These benefit concerts, organized by Smith and Bill Graham in the early years of the Clinic, included bands such as Big Brother and the Holding Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ravi Shankar, George Harrison, The Charlatans, Blue Cheer, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The concerts proved crucial in providing the funding necessary to keep the Clinic doors open during its early years, as traditional sources of funding were not immediately forthcoming.

Rock Medicine

Through the benefit concerts organized with Bill Graham in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Smith supported the creation of Rock Medicine. In the spring of 1973, Bill Graham staged two consecutive Saturday concerts at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, CA featuring The Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin. Bill Graham asked the Clnic to staff a "medical emergency care tent" during both concerts. These small stadium concerts, about 18,000 at the Dead and 25,000 at Led Zeppelin, evolved into Bill Graham's Days on the Green concert series. The "medical emergency care tent" became Rock Medicine, which is a branch of the Clinic that still exists today and provides medical care at various Bay Area music concerts and events.


Davidson, Leigh. Smith, David E. 'We Built This Clinic on Rock n' Roll'., 24 March 2007. 16:50 UTC, [accessed 24 March 2007]

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