John Makohen joined the Greenwich House MMTP team in 2020. He has eight years of experience working as a counselor with people in recovery.
What motivated you to become a counselor and work in a recovery program?
Honestly, counseling found me. Why I work in the field is because I’ve sat on both sides of the desk. I wanted to take my personal experience and be able to assist others in their recovery.
What brought you to Greenwich House?
Before coming to here, I had worked in the field in an abstinence-based Opiod Treatment Program (OTP) for five years. I didn’t enjoy the job because it went against my core values, my belief in harm reduction and the benefits of medication assisted treatment. I saw that MMTP was hiring and I knew I would enjoy this gig because it aligned so well with my core values.
How has being a counselor in a recovery program changed or affected you?
Working recovery has made me less selfish and more mindful to the needs of others. More self-aware of how I see things, more curious about how to reach others, and frustrated with the federal regulations surrounding Methadone; which makes me want to advocate for future change within the field.
What advice do you have for people reluctant to seek help for their Substance Use Disorder?
I feel many people don’t come to treatment because of old stigmatizing myths about methadone. Besides this I often hear people referring to methadone as liquid handcuffs. This statement is 100% false. Don’t believe what others say, give us a call, and get the answers to questions yourself. It just might save your life.
What is one thing people should know about Greenwich House and MMTP?
GH MMTP is not like other medication supported recovery programs in the city. We don’t have waiting lists. We practice harm reduction first.