ANNOUNCEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PR SUBCOMMITTEE:
As trusted servants tasked with the responsibility for maintaining the relationship between the Rappahannock Area of Narcotics Anonymous
and “the general public, professionals, potential members and each other in our groups and services communities” (RANA Bylaws, Article 6, Section 5), we are deeply concerned about some members'
choice to disregard the lawful order issued to not only us but the population of the state at large (Executive Order 53), placing our fellowship as a whole in jeopardy. Tradition Four states that
group autonomy does not apply to “matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole”. The decision to disregard public health directives, as well as to disobey the lawful order issued, is clearly a
matter affecting other NA groups and NA as a whole.
A variety of tools have been made available for addicts to access the meetings of Narcotics Anonymous by internet or by phone while in-person meetings are not available. Our local area is working diligently to keep members updated with this information. These are currently our best options for furthering our primary purpose to the best of our ability during these unprecedented times.
Continuing to meet in person is a violation of § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia and considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by “confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both” (§ 32.1-27 Code of Virginia). This has the potential to damage our reputation as an organization in the community. We have worked especially hard as a fellowship to do the service required to build mutually respectful relationships with other organizations in the community which allow us to carry the message of recovery to the addicts served by these organizations. Our Tenth Tradition cautions against engaging in public controversy. While we have no opinion on the virus itself, nor the actions taken by various government agencies to combat it, we must abide by the law. Violating a public health order risks our public reputation by bringing NA into public controversy, and must be avoided.
PR would like to make sure that addicts seeking recovery who may be finding the rooms for the first time have some way of being pointed to our website and virtual meetings.
FROM OUR AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE: