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Social service 101

This module by Cadet Kelly Melfi

This module was prepared by Cadet Kelly Melfi, and presented in class on 5/27/2020. The class Power Point is attached under Aims below.

  • Background: Sober for twelve years.
  • Knows: Many are addicted and the Salvation Army is often their first point of entry into the church, even though "church services" are not what they are coming for. They may come in high. 
  • Wanted to learn: What drugs are out there today? How can we engage people in a safe but real way?
  • Learned: Showing videos and allowing cadets to come up with their own solutions, resulted in real time learning through collaboration.

Aims of this module

To prepare new lieutenants for what they may be facing in their corps, by being aware of the basics of drugs and addiction, seeing how people may act when they are high, thinking through what our own responses are, and preparing to 'be Jesus in the moment' for them.

Substance use disorder

"Substance use disorder" is the term now used (DSM V, 2013). It is defined as a mental disorder that causes a person to repeatedly use substances even though they are harmful. The disorder can be mild, moderate or severe depending on the duration and degree of substance use. Can include reliance on:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Opiods
  • Sedatives
  • Hypnotics
  • Anxiolytics
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco



Codependency is immoderate emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, often used with regard to a family member requiring support due to an illness or a disorder such as substance use disorder. This term has been viewed as stigmatizing as it tends to pathologize family members' concern for their loved one and may increase their shame.

Codependents Anonymous uses a 12 step approach. "The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships".

Anyone can exhibit codependent behaviors.

Recovery options


  • Medical
  • Community 
    • In-patient and out-patient rehabilitation
    • Halfway houses
    • Group meetings, such as AA, NA, CoDa, Celebrate Recovery
  • Government

What does real recovery look like?

What are the 12 steps?  Celebrate Recovery's Biblical Comparison 

We are all in recovery from something.

So what can WE do?


If we have healthy boundaries in our lives, then we will not be afraid to engage people, and we will also be alert to possible codependent behavior in ourselves. Sometimes well intentioned helping can hurt ourselves and others.

Prepare and practice

  • Do have a team. Do have a real conversation with the person and their family. Do be honest and build trust.
  • Don't diagnose. Don't blame the person or their family. Don't enable!
  • Do pray with people. Do connect them with spiritually mature people.
  • Don't expect immediate transformation. Do celebrate it when it happens.
  • Do have a plan.

What are approaches that you can use with someone on acid? Cocaine? Crack? Alcohol? Marijuana? Heroin?

Places we can call for guidance

SAMHSA's National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Alcoholics Anonymous (202) 966-9155

Narcotics Anonymous (800) 543-4670

Local 12-step group or listed meeting leader


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-V. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 

Beattie, M. (1992). Codependent no more. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Cloud, H. & Townsend, J. (2017). Boundaries: when to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life (rev. ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Mooney, L.A., Knox, D. & Schach, C. (2017). Understanding social problems (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning


"Anyone who takes opioids is at risk of developing addiction. Your personal history and the length of time you use opioids play a role, but it's impossible to predict who's vulnerable to eventual dependence on and abuse of these drugs. Legal or illegal, stolen and shared, these drugs are responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the U.S. today," ("How Opioid Addictions Occurs").

Learn more about opioid addiction from The Recovery Village Ridgefield Drug and Alcohol Rehab here.


"How Opioid Addictions Occurs." MayoClinic, 16 Feb.