It will be the only facility of its kind in Christian County, and its owners hope it will save countless lives.

Synergy Recovery Center held a grand opening ceremony Feb. 21, observing the opening of an addiction treatment facility on Smyrna Road in rural Ozark. The privately-owned facility will serve male clients who want to overcome addictions to opiates, alcohol and other drugs. On March 1, Synergy’s Ozark facility will open and receive its first client.

“It’s been a really long journey. It’s been about a year from when we started building, so we’re excited to open the doors,” Synergy Executive co-owner Ann Koetting said.

The treatment facility in Ozark is similar to another facility that Synergy Executive owns and operates for women in Rogersville. The Ozark project cost an estimated $3 million to build.

Some neighboring property owners spoke out in opposition to the treatment center project when it was first announced. The project’s opponents spoke their concerns about safety, traffic and decreased property values in the area.

Koetting said that some people don’t understand addiction treatment, and didn’t understand the type of facility set to open in Christian County.

“There is a stigma. Addiction and recovery are getting a lot more national media coverage, and so I think that stigma—we’re slowly chipping away at it, but it’s going to be a while,” Koetting said.

On Dec. 3, 2017, a three-hour hearing concluded concluded with a 5-2 Christian County Planning and Zoning Commission vote in favor of approving a conditional use permit for the project. The Christian County Board of Adjustment later upheld that vote. The final decision was an administrative review by the Christian County Commission, in which the county’s top elected officials upheld the decision to allow the development.

Koetting hopes that time will help heal the rift between Synergy and some of its neighbors.

“I feel like there are still some people who are skeptical, and that’s okay. We just hope that the longer we are here and once we are open, they will see that this is serving the community—serving their neighbors and their family members and co-workers. Hopefully, with time, we’ll make peace with all of that,” Koetting said.

The treatment facility sits on 38 acres of property on Smyrna Road, north of the Green Bridge. It will contain 12 beds for clients, two detox beds and 10 residential beds, inside a 16,000-square foot building that will feature a gym, therapy rooms and much more. 

“We offer them a great holistic approach to treatment. We have an amazing facility, we have an amazing program, and we have amazing professional counselors and staff,” Synergy Executive co-owner Paige Tuck said.

Synergy did not disclose the cost of a stay at the Ozark treatment center, but the price rate for a comparable 30-day stay at the women’s facility in Rogersville is about $20,000. 

Four counselors, including Koetting and Tuck, will work with the 10 clients at the Synergy men’s facility in Ozark. Each client will take part in individual and group therapy sessions as part of their treatment.

The main design of the program is the same as what Synergy’s female clients have been experiencing for years in Rogersville. The Ozark site will offer some different amenities and recreation opportunities for its male clients.

“It’s similar as far as a lot of the curriculum, but there’s some gender-specific things that we’re having here that we didn’t have at the women’s. There will be a specific curriculum for men’s trauma, and we also added in more basketball, pickleball and just some things that can keep them active and burn off some energy,” Koetting said.

Each patient is put through 52 hours of structured programming per week with licensed professional counselors and therapy sessions.

The Synergy center in Ozark added two new jobs for addition counselors who will work with the clients.

“It’s exciting to be able to create new jobs in the community and to bring more people on. We’re just excited,” Koetting said.

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