OREM — For the past 40 years The Gathering Place has served as a refuge for folks struggling with drug addiction.

On Wednesday it will celebrate its four decades of service with a luncheon. The public is invited to the free meal and to learn about drug treatment programs. The event is from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 251 E. 1200 South.

Nearly 10,000 people in Utah County need treatment for substance abuse, according to a 2007 Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health report.

"The Gathering Place was started in 1968 by recovering addicts out of their desire to give back," said Tim Adams, director at the center.

The luncheon is to help the community become more aware of The Gathering Place's adult and youth services, he said.

Other addictions are also treated there, including an addiction to pornography. It also offers family support instruction, a women's program and a prevention effort called "Life Skills."

Therapists have helped thousands of people over the years, Adams said.

For more information about The Gathering Place, visit www.gatheringplace.org.