Following new restrictions ordered by Governor Murphy in recent days in response to COVID-19, Senator Kristin Corrado and Senator Anthony M. Bucco urged the governor to ensure that alcohol and narcotics support group meetings be allowed to continue in person regardless of any additional limitations on gatherings that might be imposed.
Sen. Kristin Corrado and Sen. Anthony M. Bucco urged Governor Murphy to ensure that alcohol and narcotics support group meetings be allowed to continue in person—regardless of any additional limitations on gatherings that might be imposed in response to COVID-19. (Pixabay)
“There are thousands of New Jersey residents in recovery who struggle with addiction every day,” said Corrado (R-40). “Many of these individuals rely on a 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, or similar organizations. It is critical that these life-saving support groups be allowed to continue to hold in-person meetings to ensure that these individuals have access to the help and counseling they depend upon.”
On November 16, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 196, which lowered indoor and outdoor gathering limits to 10 people and 150 people respectively. The new indoor limit took effect on November 17, while the outdoor limit is effective November 23.
According to an analysis by NJ Spotlight, New Jersey may experience a record-high number of overdose deaths this year.
“We understand the concerns of COVID-19, but for individuals in recovery, losing the critical support provided by NA and AA is likely a greater threat to their health and well-being. We urge Governor Murphy not to take these programs away from them again,” said Bucco (R-25). “With overdoses on pace to set a record in New Jersey this year, the governor has to realize that COVID isn’t the only public health concern that needs to be addressed. If proper precautions are followed, such as wearing masks and practicing responsible social distancing, there is no practical reason why these meetings cannot continue safely in person.”
Last month, Bucco wrote to Governor Murphy about the importance of in-person meetings for those struggling with substance use disorders.
Both Corrado and Bucco have been contacted by concerned counselors and organizations that run NA and AA programs regarding the critical need to allow in-person programs to continue.
Related Facebook Post: