A new chemical-dependency treatment program has been started by Charter Canyon Hospital in Orem.

Previously operating under the general psychiatric program, the chemical-dependency program is now separate because of the distinct treatment given to the chemically dependent individual, hospital officials said.Dr. John C. Turpin, program director, said the 10-bed unit specializes in helping adults with any kind of substance abuse, such as prescription medication, illegal drug or alcohol abuse. An open house for the new program is scheduled July 12.

"Our patients receive not only specialized treatment for clinical drug use, but they also receive individual and group therapy," said Turpin. "Group therapy meets seven days a week, and we would like to develop the program so the patients can also receive individual therapy every day," he said. Turpin said daily therapy sessions greatly increase the effectiveness of treatment.

He said the substance abuser has developed a habit of coping with the problems of everyday life by medicating himself. "We all experience pain and hurt," he said. During treatment, not only is the patient treated for substance abuse, he or she also learns alternative, healthy ways to deal with the pain that we all experience. From the day the patient is admitted, the program is geared toward his recovery, discharge and aftercare.

Turpin said aftercare treatment is vital and is available to former patients indefinitely.