This spring, Integral Care received a grant of $229,925 from Austin Public Health to launch Bridge to Recovery, a new collaboration with the Sobering Center. Bridge to Recovery is designed to fill critical service gaps by creating a recovery-oriented, person-centered, trauma-informed continuum of care that increases access to and expands substance misuse services and treatment. Through the program, the Sobering Center refers clients with substance use disorders who are ready for more extensive substance use treatment to Integral Care.

The Sobering Center collaborates with local referral partners to assess, stabilize and provide linkage to care for people with SUD in crises. The Center will initially deploy Sober Support Specialists to transport the client from their referral partners to the Sobering Center. Paramedics will provide bridge medications to stave off serious withdrawal symptoms, allowing clients to engage with counselors in screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment.

The Sobering Center will then connect interested and eligible clients to Integral Care. Upon referral, eligible clients will be connected to a Co-Occurring Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders (COPSD) caseworker for assessment and ongoing support. The Sobering Center may also refer individuals experiencing homelessness or who need additional crisis support to Integral Care’s 15th Street Respite program for further stabilization. Individuals residing at 15th Street Respite program may access detoxification services, individual and group counseling, and referral to SAMSO residential treatment providers.

During the first year of the project, Integral Care and the Sobering Center anticipate serving 28 clients and connecting 20 individuals to substance use services. All clients served through Bridge to Recovery will be evaluated for progress toward their treatment plan goals, with the expectation that 70% of program participants will demonstrate progress toward those goals.