Jo-Hanna Ivers to advise Citizen’s Assembly on Drugs Use

Posted on: 28 March 2023

Jo-Hanna Ivers, Associate Professor in Addictions and Associate Dean of Civic Engagement & Social Innovation at Trinity College has been appointed a member of the Advisory Support Group to the Citizens Assembly on Drugs Use.

Jo-Hanna Ivers to advise Citizen’s Assembly on Drugs Use

The Advisory Support Group’s role is to support the Chair of the Assembly in developing a fair, balanced and comprehensive work programme. Members will offer suggestions and feedback on the design of a draft programme, and identify options for specialists, experts, stakeholder groups and others to appear before the Assembly.  

Describing the Assembly, Professor Ivers said: “The Citizens' Assembly is a process of deliberative engaged democracy, where our citizens are at the centre of significant legal and policy issues facing Irish society. The Citizens Assembly on Drug Use will deliberate on one of our society's most critical challenges, namely, how drugs impact individuals, families, communities and broader society. Assemblies are a novel and innovative measure of engaging citizens and the public.”

She said: “I am privileged to be appointed to the Advisory Support Group. I hope that my expertise as an Associate Professor in Addiction and Associate Dean of Civic Engagement and Social Innovation will support the work of the Assembly in identifying solutions to this significant challenge.” 

“My experience in addiction research, treatment, and civic engagement has given me a broad perspective on the challenges of drug use and the importance of developing comprehensive solutions that address the biological, psychological, and social aspects of drug use, addiction and recovery. I hope that my experience will be valuable in supporting the work of the Assembly in identifying solutions to this significant multifaceted challenge.”

Provost Linda Doyle welcomed the news:
“Jo-Hanna will bring a wealth of experience to the Advisory Support Group. Her appointment is a recognition of the remarkable work she has done in the field of addiction research. Given the significance of the Citizens Assembly, Jo-Hanna’s appointment to this advisory group is a fantastic example of how Trinity researchers achieve wider societal impact.”

The Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use, Paul Reid, said: “I am pleased to have such an experienced and diverse group of people to support the important work of the Assembly. The Advisory Support Group has a key role in supporting the Citizens’ Assembly in developing a comprehensive work programme, in line with the Assembly’s Terms of Reference. I am grateful to the members of the group for so generously committing their time to the Assembly, and I look forward to working with them over the coming months.” 

The other members of the Advisory Support Group are: 

  • Philly McMahon, advocate for people affected by drugs use 
  • Mary Cannon, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and consultant psychiatrist, Beaumont Hospital. 
  • Joe O’Neill, Chair of the Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force 
  • Ann Ryan, Retired Judge of the District Court 
  • Brian Galvin, Programme Manager for Drug and Alcohol Research, Health Research Board 
  • John Garry, Professor of Political Behaviour and lead at The Democracy Unit, Queen's University Belfast  

The first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use is scheduled to take place on April 15th and 16th 2023. 

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