Public Service Announcement from the Regional Service Committee.
Restrictions in place in the Irish Region of Narcotics Anonymous on 6th October 2020
Republic of Ireland changes in regulations for meetings.
The Department of health is working with drug and alcohol task forces, they have updated their advice in regards to drug NA groups. Guidelines are temporary and subject to review depending on Public Health policy.
The following guidance applies to all NA meetings:
- It is recommended to hold meetings online or outdoor if possible, without diluting the benefits for group members.
- Where it is decided to host face-to-face meetings, trusted servants are advised to undertake a risk assessment to ensure the health, welfare and safety of group members.
- Facilities used to host support groups should be exclusive use, where possible and not shared with others.
- The recommended maximum number of attendees at level three is 15, including trusted servants as long as the 2 meters social distancing rule can be adhered to.
- Meeting should last a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes. (Including group conscious).
- Individuals at higher risk of Covid 19, or in close contact with such individuals should only attend meetings that are conducted online.
Please note the restrictions are due to change this week.
The following restrictions for all households in Northern Ireland were introduced from 6.00 pm on 22 September 2020:
- No mixing of households in private dwellings.
- No more than six people to gather in a private garden from no more than two households – children aged 12 and under from those two households are not counted in this total.
- No outdoor or indoor gatherings that exceed 15 people and unless also accompanied by a risk assessment to be carried out and meets requirements of Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and that this be available to show a relevant person such risk assessment.
Please see full details at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-and-what-they-mean-you
The Group Conscience
Matters to consider include:
- Completing a risk assessment in writing.
- The lay out of the room to ensure 2 meter distance requirement.
- Having hand sanitiser or wipes.
- Use of face covering, providing them if the group can afford them.
- Cleaning the venue before and after use.
- Plan what the group will do if extra people want to attend the meeting.
- Keeping records of the first people who attend the group for contact tracing if required.
- Ensuring the meeting lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes.
Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community based association of recovering drug addicts with nearly 67,000 meetings in 139 countries worldwide. There are currently weekly meetings across Ireland.
The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using.
October 7th 2019 marked the 40th anniversary since the first NA meeting was held in the old Rutland Centre in Clondalkin, Dublin. While other meetings had taken place sporadically before then, from the 7th October 1979 onwards there have continually been NA meetings in Ireland.