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Government hears Conway’s call on addiction support meetings

NEW guidance has been published on meetings for drug and alcohol, and other addiction support groups under Level 3 and Level 4 public health restrictions. On Tuesday, Minister Frank Feighan  published guidelines which permit face-to-face meetings in controlled circumstances. The issue had been raised by Senator Martin Conway when Dublin and Donegal entered Level 4 last month, when he called for support meetings to continue in-person, given the serious nature of addiction and the vulnerability of those who may not have access to online services. The guidance recommends holding meetings outdoors or online, where possible “without diluting the benefits for participants”. In cases where face-to-face group/programme meetings take place, organisers are advised to undertake a risk assessment to ensure the health, welfare and safety of participants. Individuals at higher risk from Covid-19, or in close contact with such individuals, are told to avoid faceto-face group/programmes meetings and instead attend meetings online. “The reality is that there are huge numbers of …

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