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Sobering Services Saving Lives

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Hundreds of lives are saved a year because of a unique service provided in Jackson County.

The Addictions Recovery Center provides the William Moore Center to help people who are suffering from mental health issues or are too intoxicated for their own safety.

Often, sobering services take in those suffering from mental health issues. Officers who place people on mental hold head to the hospital first, but if staff can’t evaluate them because they’re too intoxicated, they end up at ARC. Placing someone inside that facility can be a matter of life or death when the temperature outside drops.

“You’re not going to do well when it’s 20, 25 degrees outside and you’re intoxicated to the point where you can’t take care of yourself. We just had a case in the last couple of days where a person died of hypothermia,” said Medford Police chief Tim George.

Jackson County is one of only a few counties that have a resource like it.
“There’s a lot of communities that don’t have it and I can’t imagine conducting a police business in those communities because it’s a vital service to us, it’s a vital service to every municipality out here,” said George.

“It’s an opportunity for us to intervene and provide people with the care that they need and to get them on a different path than maybe they would otherwise be on,” said Addictions Recovery Center deputy director Ed Burns.

The Addictions Recovery Center says it’s also in discussion with neighboring counties to provide a similar resource like sobering services for people.