Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD has today called on Junior Minister Frank Feighan to begin preparation work for the expansion of capacity at addiction recovery meetings.
Teachta Gould said:
“Last year, the Junior Minister finally got permission for addiction recovery group meetings, such as AA, to return with certain restrictions after a long campaign by myself and many of the groups concerned.
“Now, as we are faced with the prospect of reopening the state, it is time for Junior Minister Feighan to start to put plans in place for the full resumption of meetings beyond the current capacity of 15.
“These plans need to be in line with public health advice obviously, but the Junior Minister must now take a proactive approach. It was until groups had been closed for months last year that he started to put a plan in place for their resumption. We can’t see the same happen now.
“From the original closure of addiction groups to rehabilitation treatment waiting times, the Minister has waited time and again for these issues to become a major problem before taking any action.
“In response to a question I submitted, the Minister indicated he would only start planning for the expansion of these meetings once indoor gatherings were allowed again.
“There is scope for the Minister to take the bull by the horns and devise the plan now.
“Instead of sitting back waiting for someone else to make the decision for him, the Minister could start preparing and seeking public health advice now.”