An inpatient medical stabilization service for adults with drug, alcohol and related health issues has treated 107 clients since it opened Aug. 13, 2012, at Summit Medical Center.

New Vision is for people going through withdrawals from alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines, a treatment option new to the River Valley area, according to Shelly Weilenman, Summit administrator.

Summit and the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored an open house Tuesday evening to welcome New Vision.

"As business leaders and chamber members we need to be aware of the services available in our community and the important role of Summit Medical Center," said Jackie Krutsch, chamber executive director. "Through their expanded services, such as New Vision, Summit Medical Center continues to serve our community’s needs."

While several facilities in the area offer substance abuse counseling and inpatient rehabilitation, these should be considered follow-up care to stabilization, said Karen Childers, intake coordinator for New Vision.

Weilenman said New Vision hopes to work with local drug court programs in the future.

Those interested in the program first call for a phone screen. Callers are asked questions about their medical and substance abuse history, and if they meet the criteria of addiction withdrawal, they are admitted for intake services.

Patients are given a drug and alcohol withdrawal screening, and admitted to Summit for three to five days to receive medical assistance with their stabilization. Patients stay in regular hospital rooms and are able to have visitors.

"They are not in lockdown," Childers said. "They can bring their cell phones and books to read."

Childers stressed that those in need of New Vision are not just those dealing with alcoholism or illegal drug use.

Many patients have developed an opiate dependence while experiencing a legitimate medical issue, or for pain management, she said.

Symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, stomach and muscle cramps, tremors, hallucinations, hot and cold flashes, anxiety, sweats, and even a runny nose and watery eyes.

Because many of the symptoms mimic flu symptoms, some may not even realize they are going through withdrawals, Childers said.

New Vision accepts all forms of commercial insurance, Arkansas and Oklahoma Medicaid, and Medicare.

In connection with New Vision, Alcoholic Anonymous groups meet at 7 p.m. Monday and Fridays in the ground floor conference room at Summit.

To contact New Vision, call toll free (800) 939-2273 or direct at (479) 471-4600.