Severely intoxicated people, or those suffering from an acute reaction to drugs, are a potential risk to themselves and others. Public safety and personal health risks make it critical to get these individuals off the street quickly, and into a safe environment.
Central City Concern operates a roving van throughout the inner city to transport inebriated individuals to the Sobering Program. Called CHIERS, the van is staffed by EMTs trained to work with alcoholics, substance abusers and the mentally ill, thus providing significant assistance to the police.
Rather than take intoxicated people to jail, CHIERS staff and the police bring them to the Sobering Program where they can get sober in a safer, appropriate environment. After being assessed by Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to be insure no critical medical needs are present, clients spend 3-5 hours getting sober and learning about potential next steps in their treatment and recovery.
Please note: Due to a reduction in funding, the CHIERS inebriate emergency response service will be reducing its hours of operation from 16 to 10 hours a day. Effective July 1, 2012, CHIERS will be available from 1:45 pm to 11:45 p.m., seven days a week. For service outside these times, please call the Portland Police Bureau’s non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.
Last year, the Sobering Program was a safe place to sober up for more than 8,400 admissions; the CHIERS van brought 2,200 admissions to the program. ("admissions" are unduplicated with some individuals being admitted multiple times.)
Click here for video comments from Sobering Program and Hooper Detox alumni.