ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The APG Garrison's Army Substance Abuse Program officially opened its doors June 5 after the completion of a renovation that substantially transformed the building and enhanced the operation's service to the community.

Located in Bldg. 2477, a new front section, containing offices and a conference room has been added to the original building. Separating the two sections is a the new main entrance at the building's center which contains a semi-circular reception counter on one side and a waiting area with comfortable easy chairs and a wide-screen wall-mounted television on the other.

Upgrades in the original portion of the building include added storage closets in the meeting room and classroom/lab area; and an added restroom and additional counter space in the lab.

APG Adjutant Janet Dettwiler welcomed guests and Timothy Knox, APG Alcohol and Drug Control Officer (ADCO), led a tour of the facility. Guests included APG Garrison Commander, Col. Gregory McClinton; Deputy Garrison Commander Glenn Wait; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin.

McClinton called the operation "one of the unsung efforts you don't hear about until there's a problem."

"This has been a long time coming and we all appreciate the effort you put in every day," he told Knox and his staff.

He cautioned that their jobs won't get any easier with furloughs approaching and praised Knox for his consistent advocacy of the program to Garrison, tenant and Installation Management Command leaders.

"You always ask for support for our Soldiers and their families and civilians and you need to keep that up," he told Knox.

Dettwiler said the opening signifies the co-located chemical and non-chemical side of substance abuse. She reminded listeners that along with alcohol and drug abuse screening and counseling, ASAP services include the Employee Assistance Program, which provides assessments and referrals to mental health professionals on and off post for Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their Family members.

"It's not all about substance abuse but other stressors that affect our lives," Dettwiler said. "Bring your problems to ASAP for guidance."

Ervin said the calming effect of the new facility means that, "Soldiers and civilians can feel at peace when they tell you about their situations."

"This facility will facilitate the importance of taking care of our people," he said.

"First and foremost we are providing assistance to the full Team APG," added Wait. "Despite all the buildings and equipment, they are our most important asset and the most important thing we can do is take care of our people."

ASAP regularly sponsors and co-sponsors community outreach events such as the Alcohol Awareness surveys, the Save-a-Life Tour (SALT) which discourages driving while intoxicated, as well as Prescription Take Back events, which collect outdated or unneeded prescription medication for disposal.