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Resources & FAQs

FAQs

Q: What is the Sobering Center?

The Sobering Center is a safe facility for intoxicated individuals to be cared for, in lieu of being placed in jail or an emergency room.

Q: Is the Sobering Center a treatment center?

No, the Sobering Center is not a treatment facility. However, SBIRT counselors on staff can assist clients in accessing treatment. 

Q: Is the Sobering Center a detox facility?

No, the Sobering Center is not a detox facility, and does not have medications on site to assist clients with detox. If the client has their own prescribed detox medications, Sobering Center medical staff can assist the client with administration. Our SBIRT Counselors can help those seeking detox navigate the pathway to a detox facility. However, it is rarely an immediate entry process.

Q: How can a client be admitted into the Sobering Center?

Clients 18 years or older are brought to the Sobering Center via law enforcement, EMS, or by one of the Sobering Center’s other referral partners.

Q: I have seen a Sobering Center Van, does the Sobering Center pick up clients?

When staffing allows, the Sobering Center van is used to coordinate client pickups from the emergency room or other referral partner.

Q: Can clients be sent to the Sobering Center without law enforcement or EMS transportation? (i.e.: cab, rideshare)

The Sobering Center can accept clients via other transportation means when clients are coming from the emergency room or other referral partner. This must be coordinated with the Lead medical personnel on shift. The client must be able to sit upright and display no immediate needs for medical care upon transporting.

Q: Does the Sobering Center accept walk up clients?

No, the Sobering Center does not accept walk up clients.

Q: A person can be referred to the Sobering Center via a referral partner if they:

  • Agree to be transported to the Sobering Center
  • Are currently intoxicated (all substances accepted, including monitoring after Naloxone administration)
  • Have not been combative and/or was NOT involved in any physical violence/assault, even if cooperative with EMS or law enforcement. However, the Sobering Center will accept clients whose injuries have been evaluated by a provider.

Q: Does the Sobering Center have food and drinks?

Yes, the Sobering Center has limited food and drinks which consists of pretzels and water.

Q: Are clients charged a fee or fine for being brought to the Sobering Center?

No, the Sobering Center is a non-profit organization and clients are not charged.

Q: Are clients charged an ambulance bill if brought to the Sobering Center instead of the hospital?

No, clients are not charged an ambulance bill if brought to the Sobering Center via ambulance.

Q: Can a client leave the Sobering Center if they are still intoxicated?

Yes, we are not a detention facility and we cannot force anyone to remain with us. However if a client leaves while still intoxicated, they will be breaking the law, and could be arrested at that time.

Infographics

Binge Drinking

Opioid Overdose Prevention

Links

2017
http://digital.olivesoftware.com/olive/apa/austinamericanstatesman/SharedView.Article.aspx?href=AAS%2F2017%2F12%2F12&id=Ar01103&sk=32897084&viewMode=text

2018
https://www.newsradioklbj.com/news/austin-local-news/austin-sobering-center-open-soon
https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2018/01/sobering-center-one-step-closer/
https://communityimpact.com/austin/central-austin/public-safety/2018/07/24/sobering-center-prepares-to-open-doors-in-august/
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/new-downtown-austin-sobering-facility-is-a-better-alternative-to-jail-or-the-hospital/269-585928840
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2018/10/12/austin-sobering-center-serves-hundreds-since-august-opening
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/free-downtown-austin-sobering-center-set-to-open-in-a-month/1337894562
http://www.austintexas.gov/department/sobriety-center-local-government-corporation
https://www.kut.org/post/new-sobering-center-gives-intoxicated-people-alternative-jail-or-hospital
https://www.austinchronicle.com/best-of-austin/year:2018/poll:critics/category:politics-and-media/2347768/
http://reportingtexas.com/austin-sobering-center-saves-money-and-lives-officials-say/
https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/labor-day-gives-austins-new-sobering-center-glimpse-into-patient-base
http://www.downtownaustin.com/news-article/sobering-center-now-open-downtown-austin
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/video-vault/Sobering-Center-Opens-in-Austin_Dallas-Fort-Worth-491680201.html
http://www.tcysapc.org/?p=1225

2019
https://www.statesman.com/news/20190204/how-austins-sobering-center-is-offering-alternative-to-jail
http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/sobering-center-prepares-for-possible-sxsw-influx
https://www.kvue.com/article/money/sobering-center-prepares-for-south-by-southwest/269-cf850373-9ee1-4eb1-8d3b-a2e3d045a191
https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2019/03/05/sobering-center-prepares-for-sxsw-after-exceeding-1-000-clients-in-six-months
https://www.dothaneagle.com/news/ap/state/new-austin-sobering-center-offers-alternative-to-jail/image_ac17237a-7c8a-5ab4-8331-1c969f18fc4d.html
https://www.fox7austin.com/news/austin-sobering-center-marks-one-year-anniversary
https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/austins-sobering-center-helps-2000-people-in-first-year
https://www.statesman.com/news/20191101/year-after-launch-austins-sobering-center-sees-positive-results—but-also-turbulence

2020

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/community/austin-sobering-center-update-look-inside/269-be895f73-ff22-4476-9fdd-7e6ed1a9d8a8
https://www.kut.org/post/austin-turns-hotels-and-sobering-center-house-homeless-covid-19-patients
https://communityimpact.com/austin/central-austin/impacts/2020/06/12/sobering-center-announces-laura-sovine-as-new-executive-director/
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/sobering-center-in-austin-to-reopen-24-7-starting-monday/
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/austin-travis-county-sobering-center-taking-in-less-people-seeing-more-severe-cases-during-pandemic/?utm_source=ground.news&utm_medium=referral

2021

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/health/sobering-center-stimulant-dorm/269-2344cdb4-e45b-47f0-b504-9ed2da4fee94
https://www.newsradioklbj.com/austinlocalnews/sobering-center-to-separate-by-substance-not-gender/
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/travis-county/austins-sobering-center-opens-new-dorm-tailored-for-those-coming-off-of-stimulants/
https://communityimpact.com/austin/central-austin/2021/10/12/the-sobering-center-in-austin-to-separate-patients-by-substance-used-not-gender/#:~:text=The%20Sobering%20Center%2C%20located%20at,rooms%20for%20publicly%20intoxicated%20individuals.
https://thedailytexan.com/2021/10/25/austin-travis-county-sobering-center-expands-programs-scope/
https://www.fox7austin.com/video/989025
https://www.fox7austin.com/video/990713?fbclid=IwAR3HZLupjV55UCwKMfBFRkZ3zP9P4DBOy4HabxCILmZZpitjV-w5STlLIXc
https://www.kxan.com/news/drink-too-much-on-sixth-street-rides-to-sobering-center-will-be-available/
https://www.fox7austin.com/video/936076
https://www.kvue.com/mobile/video/news/community/austin-sobering-center-offers-free-rides/269-05736799-ab8d-4836-9245-f46ba47e4e31
https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/travis-county-commissioners-consider-mental-health-diversion-pilot-program
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/travis-county-diversion-program/269-d7e91fd2-2539-48ce-a9c9-cc82327928d7