Announcement: Scheduled Opening August 2018

1213 Sabine Street, Austin, Texas 78701

Why We Need It

Binge drinking is worse in Austin than in other cities.

In 2012 Austin was named the 5th Drunkest City in the nation. The prevalence of binge drinking amongst Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area adults has been consistently and notably higher than Texas and U.S. binge drinking averages (see chart below), according to Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data.

BINGE DRINKING AMONG ADULTS

Austin MSA

17.3%

Dallas MSA 13.9%
Houston MSA 14.9%
Texas 14.6%
US 14.7%

SOURCE: CENTER FOR HEALTH (CHS) STATISTICS TEXAS BEHAVIORAL RISK FACTOR SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM SURVEY DATA, 2010. AUSTIN, TEXAS: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

Binge drinking can lead to public intoxication and that’s expensive — for everyone!

  • Hampers productivity at work and school
  • Increases health care costs
  • Leads to vulnerability to crime
  • Adds to criminal justice cost

Furthermore, arresting and caring for people who become Publicly Intoxicated doesn’t allow them to get the treatment referrals that could help them avoid public intoxication in the future and increase their quality of life.

Public Intoxication leads people to the criminal justice system. The Sobering Center can help avoid that path.

Transporting individuals to the Sobering Center takes much less time than arresting a person. It’s anticipated that because of this, the number of bookings for public intoxication will drop. Current statistics indicate more than 2,000 bookings for public intoxication every year in Travis County. Additionally, many in law enforcement prefer a non-punitive solution to the problem.

THE COST OF PUBLIC INTOXICATION

Emergency Room

$1,400

per visit (average)

EMS Transport

$876

per transport

Jail Booking

$152

per transport

Officer Time

$55-97

per booking

SOURCE: CENTER FOR HEALTH (CHS) STATISTICS TEXAS BEHAVIORAL RISK FACTOR SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM SURVEY DATA, 2010. AUSTIN, TEXAS: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

Drug and alcohol dependence is a serious public health issue

  • Deteriorates individual’s health
  • Negative quality of life
  • Negative financial impact on the city, county, EMS and law enforcement

At the Sobering Center an individual can learn about options for recovery from alcohol and drug dependence or addiction.

What is Binge Drinking?

  • For men, 5 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.
  • For women 4 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.

DRINKING TOO MUCH CONTRIBUTES TO INJURIES AND DISEASES, INCLUDING:

  • Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning)
  • Intentional injuries (e.g., rearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence)
  • Alcohol poisoning; HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Cardiovascular, liver, diabetes diseases

BINGE DRINKING KILLS:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States accounting for an estimated average of 80,000 deaths and 2.3 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) during 2001—2005.
  • Binge drinking accounted for more than half of the excessive alcohol consumption deaths and two thirds of the YPLL.

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