Klamath Falls, Ore. – A drug and alcohol treatment center in Klamath Falls is expanding operations.
‘Transformations Wellness Center’ has a new focus on the opioid crisis.
Transformations CEO Barbara Heath says opioid addictions in Klamath County are just behind alcohol and meth. “We are starting to see it more and more in our backyard. The numbers are beginning to increase.”
The agency recently received a half million dollar grant from the state for treatment of opioid use disorder.
“We have individuals who have been using prescriptions opioids medication.” Notes Transformations Clinical Director Dawn Merrigan. “And are no longer able to get those prescriptions.”
“That makes it more of a challenge.” Adds Heath. “First of all, we don’t know who they are – and sometimes, they don’t know who they are either, until they lose that prescription, and start going into having withdrawal symptoms.”
Suboxone will be used to help provide pain relief for those recovering from opioids.
“We can’t take the crutch away all at once.” Explains Merrigan. “We do offer medicated assisted treatment.”
Heath points out the treatment will extend beyond a prescription. “Outpatient counseling, or residential counseling if needed in conjunction with the medication.”
Transformations says a strong effort is made to protect the person’s anonymity.
“Be able to hold down a job, be able to take care of their families.” Explains Merrigan of the goal. “Without having to experience the intense cravings or the withdrawal that comes with opioid addiction, discontinuing that use.”
The agency recently opened an office at 220 Main Street in Klamath Falls.
Transformations Wellness Center will also soon be expanding services for those living with hepatitis ‘C’, and DUII resolution.
You can learn more about the agency here: transformwc.org
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.