Term Sobering Centers
Code RX-8470.8140
Definition Facilities that provide a safe, supportive, environment for publicly intoxicated individuals, mostly uninsured, homeless or marginally housed, to become sober. Sobering centers provide services for alcohol-dependent individuals who may have secondary problems such as drug abuse/dependence, mental illness and/or medical issues. Goals for sobering centers include better care for homeless alcohol-dependent persons and improved health outcomes, a decrease in the number of inappropriate ambulance trips to the emergency department for homeless alcohol-dependent individuals, and creating an alternative to booking individuals arrested for public inebriation. The centers focus on non-violent public intoxication offenders age 18 and older with a length of stay from 3 to 14 hours per visit depending on the program and the program policy. Centers do not require a commitment to abstinence to receive services although referrals for additional services are available. Transportation to the centers is most often by ambulance, sobering center operated vans, or law enforcement. Vans operated by sobering centers are frequently staffed by EMTs trained to work with this population. Center staff may include medical staff members to screen clients for medical and behavioral health issues.
Created 1/12/21
Changed 1/12/21
Use References
See Also References Wet Shelters (BH-1800.8500-950)
External Classification Terms
Related Concepts
Facet Service
Bibliographic References "Sobering Centers", American College of Emergency Physicians website, https://www.acep.org/by-medical-focus/mental-health-and-substanc-use-disorders/sobering-centers/

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