There are times when the client wants to get where they need to go (treatment, court, meetings, work, home). No problem – we have you covered.
Then, there are those folks who are resistant to going where they need to go. Regardless of the obvious consequences, there are clients who will not voluntarily get on a plane or in a car.
For situations like these, we offer Team Sober Escort.
You may have seen video images of athis service in portrayals of adolescents being carried off to a tough love school in the middle of the night. Such images are disturbing, but no more disturbing than the effects of the disease of addiction.
Ordinarily, state and federal laws will prevent us from putting hands on a client. This is for the client’s safety as well as our own. But there are client (such as an unwilling adolescent or a mentally ill or physcially ill adult) for whom this type of transportation is the only way to get them to safety.
Team Sober Escort does not use violence, but we do use strong restraint and we work in a team.
With an adolescent, we require that the parents sign a release allowing us to perform transport by any means necessary.
With an adult, we will not use any force unless either the client has requested it or is so incapacitated by his disease that another person is executing their power of attorney. In such cases, we require that a nurse practitioner be part of the team; it is entirely possible that the client will experience acute withdrawal during travel, and our job is to safely transport the client.
Even when the client is physically strong, the intimidating presence of three large, strong, and patient men will often deflate the client’s desire to fight.
We often employ the simplest technique in the book: piling on. Piling on means exactly what it says: we arrive while the client is sleeping and enter the room quietly. Before the client knows what’s happening, there are 700-plus pounds of humanity piled across his limbs and torso, with a Sober Companion right in his face. If we encounter no compliance, we will restrain the client and walk him straight into the van. From there, we take him wherever he needs to go.
This service is extreme as it is expensive. If flying is involved, it becomes much more expensive because you cannot take an unwilling person on a commercial airline flight. When necessary, we arrange for charter jet service. When necessary, we can transport a client in an ambulance. Whatever it takes to get the client where they need to go.
This practice is rare, but it is not unheard of. If we don’t take you to a healthy place, your disease will take you to a sicker place. That’s how it goes.