Sobering up centres provide a safe place for young people if they are found in public under the influence of a substance, such as alcohol or amphetamines.

The centres help to reduce the risk of harm for individuals when they are vulnerable and not in control of their decision-making and actions.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Centacare’s sobering up service at Stepney has two private rooms and a shared bathroom.

Integrated non-discriminatory and non-judgmental care is provided for young people aged 12 to 24 years who may have nowhere else to go.

“They might be living homeless or in residential care, or be reluctant to go home because it is unsafe and there will be repercussions if they return intoxicated,” says Gillian Bridgen (pictured), Manager of Centacare’s Integrated Youth Substance Misuse Specialist Service.

“The festive season is a time that many choose to overindulge or misuse substances but, for many young people, that risk is the same all year round. ”

People may refer themselves to a centre or be brought in by the police, a friend or by other means. Attendance is voluntary. If necessary, referral to other agencies and services is provided.

In 2015/16, 117 people were supported across Centacare’s drug and alcohol services. One quarter of clients were aged under 20. Alcohol was the third most common principal drug of concern, behind amphetamines and cannabis.

If you know of someone who needs a safe place to sober up, please phone our centre on 8215 6785.