There’s a new way that the LA Fire Department is hoping to get more people suffering from addiction the help they need, and that’s the Sober Unit. Inside the Sober Unit is an EMT, a nurse, and a case worker in the back, and the goal is to get more people into a sobering center where they can detox, hopefully find housing, and hopefully make it to drug and alcohol treatment centers when they’re ready.
*As LA Sentinel reports, there were 40 “super users” who were the cause of 2,000 911 calls in a year, and they were repeatedly coming back to the hospital because they didn’t have any long-term care, and hopefully the Sober Unit can hopefully play a hand in these people eventually getting off the streets.
*The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said, “That practice is hugely expensive. When LAFD brings in an inebriated patient into the ER, they have to stay with them until they are admitted, often resulting in a six-hour wait. That’s six hours that an EMT isn’t responding to other calls…That scenario plays out hundreds of times a month, often involving the same individuals…”
*As Garcetti succinctly puts it, “They’ve been hydrated in our hospital, but they haven’t been healed.” Thus if the patient agrees to get help, they’ll be taken to a place where they can be detoxed, called the Sobering Center, which can hold about fifty people.
*As the LA Sentinel reports, it’s staffed by people who can detox patients, “and it can also connect patients to other treatment resources and programs.” While it’s too early to tell if this can lead people to long term sobriety, the Sober Unit is certainly a step in the right direction.