Affirming their worth and dignity as human beings and their right to health, wholeness, hope, and a fulfilling productive life, ARMS, a lay ministry of the UUCS, is committed to helping people with addiction and supporting those affected by addiction with respect and caring.

ARMS will strive to reduce the stigma attached to addiction and the people it touches and to respond to affected people in ways that ease their feelings of frustration, shame, and guilt and the barriers to recovery.

To these ends, ARMS will devote itself to the ongoing process of providing resources for awareness, education, prevention, and treatment options.

Do you want to help? This brochure  advises of skills needed and roles available to be filled on the Addiction Recovery team. ARMS members will commit their time, caring, and non-judgmental attention to people with addictions, and those affected by addiction, seeking help, educating themselves and being prepared to listen to and assist them in finding help in their struggles.


What We Do

Working up the courage to get help for an addiction is an enormous obstacle to overcome. Despite decades of literature, lectures and programs our culture still seems to view addiction as a moral failing. The person struggling with addiction is certain that in his or her case it is a moral failing and they should just be able to pull up their socks and beat it in secret. That “white knuckle” approach rarely works. With the shame of self condemnation also comes the fear of being stigmatized by others. Even after the person with these issues has gotten past the very real barrier of denial, the burden of shame and fear of stigmatization holds him or her back from seeking help.

Addiction has many sources and can strike at any age. What we do know is that the majority of addictions seem to have roots in adolescence; a way to cope with the angst of being teen aged. Being old and alone is another, often unrecognized, fertile period for addiction, particularly alcohol and prescription drugs. Co-occuring psychological issues are not uncommon and often mask recognition of addictive behavior.

Addiction does not affect one person alone. It affects their family, friends and co-workers. Although family and friends are usually much quicker to recognize the need for help, they too are often paralyzed by the perception of shame and the fear of stigmatization.

This is where the Addictions Recovery Ministry Support group, better known as ARMS, comes in. Our ministry is set up with the purpose of helping those affected by addiction get past the fear and shame to get the help they need. We are a small discreet group of concerned members of this congregation who have taken time to educate ourselves about the issues of addiction and the resources available for help. Some of us have learned the hard way, but not all. We are open to anyone who wishes to help. We are discreet!

What do we do? We talk privately to those seeking our help to break down the feeling of isolation and overcome their shame and fear of stigmatization. We give guidance on where to find help. We put on educational programs for the congregation and we stock and maintain a supply of literature and information on addiction both in the Church Library and on the credenza at the front of Hanneman Hall.

Recovery Dharma

ARMS is glad to sponsor the Recovery Dharma group meeting every Friday at 6:00 pm at UUCS. Recovery Dharma offers an approach to recovery that is based on Buddhist principles. Our program is peer-led and non-theistic.  We welcome all who wish to pursue recovery as part of our community.

Drawing inspiration from the core teachings of the Four Noble Truths, emphasis is placed on both knowledge and empathy as means for overcoming addiction and its causes. Those struggling with any form of addiction greatly benefit when they understand the suffering that addiction has created while developing compassion for the pain they have experienced.

The members of the addiction ministry adopted Recovery Dharma in the summer of 2019 after several years of using a comparable Buddhist addiction recovery program.

The new meeting format and guided meditations are more intentionally inclusive of people with process addictions (food, sex, gambling, other behaviors) so they will feel as heard and seen as their fellow members with substance addictions. 
The new meeting format and guided meditations are trauma-informed, recognizing that most people with addictions also have a history of trauma.
Recovery Dharma has a website.  Search here for meeting places, dates, and times, 


We Are Always Available for Assistance

Members of ARMS are always available to provide assistance to UUCS members suffering with addiction, either their own or that of a family member or friend. They can be reached by contacting:

Michelle Blake via email: salem.recoverydharma@gmail.com   or by calling: 503-391-1092.

To locate an addiction or mental health facility near you click on http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

For the document “Critical Mental Health Resources for College Students” click on http://www.onlinecolleges.net/for-students/mental-health-resources.

For information on veterans with PTSD click on https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/psychology/understanding-a-veteran-with-ptsd/

Salem Area Resources

If you or someone you care about is having difficulties with addictive behaviors, these organizations may be of help. Call these organizations to obtain advice and referrals.

For Immediate Help Call 911

For Continuing Difficulties
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS-Salem Central Office 503-399-0599
ALCOHOL/DRUG HELP LINE 800-923-4357 or 877-553-8336
DRUG ABUSE 24 HOUR LINE 800-259-7115
SOS CLUB (call for meetings) 503-399-0792
WELCOMAA CLUB Call for meetings) 503-363-6173

For Family/Friends of Addicts:
AL-ANON Family Groups and Alateen 503-370-7363

Any communication with the above organizations is the sole responsibility of the person making contact. Neither the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, the PNWD Addictions Ministry Project nor any of their members, endorse these organizations and assume no responsibility for any of their advice or actions and shall not be liable for any consequences thereof.

National Websites for Addiction Recovery Support

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Alano-Other Support

Al-Anon Family Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous

LGBT Comprehensive Guide to Drug Abuse treatment options


Narcotics Anonymous

National Council on Seniors Drug & Alcohol Rehab

Overeaters Anonymous

Sex Addicts Anonymous

Smart Recovery

Ultimate Resource Guide on Mental Health and Education for Kids and Teens