Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, has welcomed news that addiction recovery support meetings, such as the Alcoholics Anonymous, can continue and resume as essential public health services.
Teachta Gould said:
“These meetings are a lifeline for people in recovery and they should never have stopped.
“If guidelines could be established to keep bookies and off licences open under Level 3 Restrictions, they should have already been in place for recovery support meetings. It took 3 weeks to initially have these meetings reopened under Level 2 and two weeks to reopen them under Level 3.
“People in recovery don’t need compassion or empathy from the government. They need real support and the support provided by peer-to-peer recovery meetings is invaluable. I would hope that the Minister now understands the difficulties faced by those in recovery during these difficult times and will listen to them in future.
“The Minister should make an official announcement today and clarify that ‘drug and alcohol support groups’ are relevant to all addictions. There is no harm in the use of the word addiction. The Minister needs to recognise that this umbrella term will give certainty and reduce anxiety for many people.
“I hope that anyone who has struggled during this difficult time can now access an in-person meeting and get the support they so desperately need.”