Paula Moreno joined Greenwich House MMTP team in 2020. As a member of our front office staff, Paul is one of the first people our clients see when they arrive at our facility.
What motivated you to work in a recovery program?
I have been around people dealing with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) throughout my life, but somehow, they always felt discriminated because of their addiction. What motivates me every day is to be able to make a difference in these people’s lives by being compassionate, understanding and treating them with the respect they deserve, which they don’t always receive.
How do you try to make patients comfortable?
I am motivated everyday by being able to help other people, as it gives me a sense of accomplishment. It is rewarding to see when patients succeed or just come to me to say “thank you.” It is something I can look back on and say, “I achieved that.” My personal experience has shown me that anybody could be faced with SUD. These people need to see someone they can trust and who has the desire and who genuinely cares for them.
How has working at a recovery program affected you?
Working at Greenwich House has helped me realize how much your attitude towards others affects them and the impact you can you can make on them showing by them respect. More important than that is my ongoing experience to learn and help the community.
What advice do you have for people reluctant to seek help for their SUD?
The stigma attached to drug use treatment is so high that many people prefer not to seek help for fear of being rejected. MAT (medication-assisted treatment) works! If you are ready for a change in your life and have the desire, just do it. If you fall, keep getting up again until you finally achieve your goal.
How have your bilingual skills benefited your patients?
There is a big need for bilingual workers in this field, who are able to communicate and understand in their own language to help them feel more secure and be more open about the circumstances that led them through that path. Our community at Greenwich is very diverse. Our clients need people who understand them and do not judge them at the same time.