Background. Sobering centers operate as an alternative to hospitals and jails in many communities across the country as a safe place where an acutely intoxicated person can be observed until he or she becomes sober. No national data on this practice exist. We aim to create a preliminary database of sobering centers and describe national practices of these sobering centers.
Methods. This study is a cross-sectional analysis and survey of sobering centers with a review of current practices.
Results. Twenty-seven potential sobering centers were identified through a variety of search mechanisms. Survey results were obtained for 11 of these centers. Nine centers met the definition of a sobering center. We found that sobering centers had significant heterogeneity in regards to size, practice patterns, and funding mechanisms. We also identified a wide range of missions, organizational components, and medical oversight.