Drug Abuse – Science, Society and Solutions Event in Tullamore

Dr Richie Maguire, Sean Kinsella, Dr Craig Slattery and Jackie Gorman at the Drugs of Abuse, Science, Society and Solutions event in Tullamore as part of the Midlands Science Festival.

A range of Science Week activities has been running in the midlands for the past week through the Midlands Science Festival. A topical, engaging and inspirational event took place in Tullamore last night [Thursday] exploring the science of drug abuse with a  focus on the linked topics of science, solution and solutions. With the Citizens Assembly on Drug Use currently underway in Ireland, this event was  a timely opportunity to learn more about the scientific and societal issues that drugs use raises.

The panel of speakers included Dr Richard Maguire, Principal Analyst, Medical Bureau of Road Safety and formerly of the National Drug Treatment Centre and Sean Kinsella, Health & Wellness Coach. Sean is an expert by experience and you can read more about his journey from addiction to a life of helping others through similar issues in various news articles online. The event was hosted by leading science communicator Dr Craig Slattery of UCD’s Conway Institute on behalf of Midlands Science.

The Midlands Science Festival is an initiative of Midlands Science and it is supported by Science Foundation Ireland and is a regional festival as part of national Science Week. Taking place from 12th-19th November, the theme for Science Week 2023 is ‘Human?’, which asks people to consider what it means to be human in today’s world, and how the decisions we make today will impact the people and world of the future.

There was a very engaged discussion with the audience at this event and people who attended were profoundly moved by the way in which Sean Kinsella shared his story of moving from homelessness and heroin addiction to a life now focussed on helping others with similar issues. It was clear that Sean believes that recovery is possible and that the narrative about drugs use needs to have more lived experience at the centre of discussions so as to have a real impact in making things better for everyone.  Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented ; “this event on drug abuse was a very engaged event with so many questions, comments and indeed experiences shared from the audience. I would like to thank all of our speakers Dr Richie Maguire, Dr Craig Slattery and Sean Kinsella who shared his expertise through experience to great effect. The discussions to be had in society about drug use need to be informed by science and also involved lived experience and we are delighted to have hosted this event in Tullamore as part of the Midlands Science Festival.” More information on Midlands Science is available on www.midlandsscience.ie