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.


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pp. 1843-1857
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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