Alcoholics Anonymous is an essential service
2 July 2021
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Given their life-saving work with alcoholics and other addicts, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are undoubtedly essential services.
In Ireland, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) has recently decreed that AA and NA are both essential services. Surely, here in Australia, as a matter of urgency, our PM, premiers and leaders of local government should be doing the same.
Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM, Redfern
The Daily Telegraph, July 2, 2021, Letters, p 86.
No AA is not OK
Professor Ross Fitzgerald’s call (Letters, 2/7 to regard Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings as essential services is a lifesaving strategy overlooked by health and government authorities in the current pandemic.
Turning recovering members away from a face-to-face meeting is not at all helpful. Immersion in AA and NA meetings provides a sense of contact and fellowship critical to recovery and wellbeing.
By following social distancing protocols and government requirements risk factors can be mitigated as well.
Neal Price, Coorparoo, Queensland
The Daily Telegraph, July 5, Letters, 2021
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous ‘should be regarded as essential services’.
Emeritus Professor Ross Fitzgerald says he finds it “bizarre” liquor stores are regarded as “essential services” but meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are not.
“I must say I find it bizarre that liquor stores are regarded as essential services but meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous aren’t,” he told Sky News host Alan Jones.
Professor Fitzgerald said lockdowns have had an “enormous impact” on people who rely on these meetings as “many people will drink and drug again”.
“I’m also concerned about new people who want to come to the meetings of AA”
Professor Fitzgerald said he had not been able to go to a single AA meeting “for three weeks” while he normally goes up to thrice in one week.
The Alan Jones Show, 8 July, 2021, 8.50 pm.