Feb. 25, 2020 – It’s the only facility of its kind in Monroe County since it opened its doors two years ago. The center helps direct people to addiction treatment services by giving immediate engagement and assessment for people suffering from all types of substance use. Mark Johnson is a senior peer advocate who works Delphi Rise’s Open Access in Rochester. When walking through the doors, Johnson is one of the first people to offer help.
One man’s journey to beating the drug epidemic
“You can go to the doctor all you want and the doctor can say, I understand what you’re going through, but they don’t,” he said. “The peers here have been through it, or are going through it. When I tell the client I understand what you’re going through, I really do.”
Having gone through alcoholism himself and currently in recovery, he’s able to relate better with the clients. “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem. Open Access exists for a reason and that is because we need to make the public aware and make the patients aware of what they’re going through with somebody other that understands.” The center is staffed with peer advocates like Johnson and others who have experiences drug abuse or are in recovery themselves.