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What Is a Drug Abuse Hotline?
A drug abuse hotline or helpline is a toll-free number for the specific purpose of providing confidential and anonymous information related to drug and alcohol addiction and treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you can call an addiction hotline number to receive information on substance use, treatment facilities, and other drug-related topics.4
Treatment options that may be discussed include inpatient and outpatient facilities, depending on the level of care assessed by a healthcare provider. Alcohol and drug addiction hotlines are generally available 24 hours a day and are staffed with caring and knowledgeable individuals who want to help.
Calls are anonymous, and you do not have to provide personal information. Hotlines are staffed by supportive personnel. You will not be scolded, judged, or reprimanded for drug use.
Addiction Hotline Questions: Am I Addicted to Drugs?
Addiction is different for each person living with the disease and can be difficult to identify. However, certain indicators are common among substance users, including the following criteria, which are used by professionals to assess if a person has a substance use disorder (SUD):2,3
- An inability to stop using the drug.
- Spending a lot more time alone than normal.
- Spending a lot of time in obtaining, using, or recovering from a drug.
- Sleeping at odd hours.
- Having trouble maintaining healthy relationships.
- Neglecting responsibilities.
- Losing interest in their favorite activities.
- Experiencing an increased tolerance to the drug (needing more to experience the effects).
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
- Engaging in illegal activities to obtain the drug.
These are some of the signs of drug addiction, but they are not the only ones. If you or a loved one have experienced 2 or more of these signs within the last 12 months, it may be time to seek help.
Hotline Questions: What Are My Treatment Options?
Many approaches have been successful in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction:5,6
- Behavioral therapy is designed to help a person struggling with addiction learn the skills needed to make meaningful change. Through therapy, they’ll learn the ways unhealthy thoughts and beliefs keep them using, and they’ll develop problem-solving skills and techniques that can be used to avoid drug use in the future.
- Programs involving 12 steps are effective in helping people stay sober. These programs rely on social support, fellowship, and spirituality.
- Motivational interviewing helps the recovering individual develop their own motivations to remain sober and create plans to stay away from drugs or alcohol.
- Contingency management uses positive reinforcements and rewards to encourage patients to remain drug free.
- Medication is useful in some cases to block the effects of drugs of use, relieve cravings, or alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
- Alternative methods of treatment are also available. Holistic treatments include acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Equine therapy, wilderness programs, and art or music therapy are also provided at some rehab centers.
Drug addiction has many causes, and a variety of approaches may be needed to treat the individual. Programs are tailored to each patient, and there is something for everyone.
Should I Call a Hotline Number?
Many people struggling with addiction are unaware of the problem. Dependence can happen gradually, and some individuals falsely feel in control of their drug use. You can benefit from the information provided by a drug addiction helpline even if you are not sure whether you have a problem. You may be addicted and not realize the severity of the problem.
Some individuals falsely feel in control of their drug use.
If you suspect a family member is using or addicted to illicit or prescription drugs or other substances, you have more options than you may realize. Someone is available to talk to you and provide assistance any time of the day.
It is never too late to make the call. All of your questions will be answered, and the information you receive could be life-saving.
What Happens When I Call a Drug or Alcohol Addiction Hotline?
When you call a drug or alcohol addiction hotline, a trained staff member will provide information on a wide variety of topics:
- Treatment options
- Helping a loved one
- Inpatient facilities
- Outpatient clinics
- Choosing a treatment center
When you call, make sure to ask whatever questions you have. You won’t be judged. You can ask about anything from signs of an addiction to how to find a rehab center near you.
If you’re interested in treatment options and you have insurance, keep your information ready. Prospective programs may ask about your coverage. In many cases, private insurance will cover some or all of your addiction treatment. Payment options like financing, loans, and sliding scales often help to offset the remaining cost.
What If I Am Afraid to Call?
Making the call to a drug use hotline can seem overwhelming. Picking up the phone takes courage, and it is the first step towards healing.
Helplines are staffed by specialists who want to see you or your loved one recover. They are dedicated to providing helpful information, treatment options, and answers.
Addiction is a disorder that can affect anyone. You will not be judged and you can call as many times as you need. Supportive individuals are available 24/7 to assist you. It can be difficult to make the telephone call, but you can do it. There are no risks or obligations.
You can get help and recover, even if you have tried unsuccessfully in the past.
Additional Helpful Resources
The following addiction hotline numbers are presented here as additional helpful resources.
If you are facing an immediate crisis, please call emergency services at 911.
- Boys Town National Hotline
- 1 (800) 448-3000
- Crisis and resource line staffed by counselors to provide information about a variety of issues, including chemical dependency.
- Covenant House Teen Hotline (NineLine)
- 1 (800) 999-9999
- General hotline for adolescents, teens and their families. Assistance with any kind of problem—including alcohol and drug use. Covenant House specializes in homeless and runaway youth.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)
- 1 (800) NCA-CALL (622-2255)
- NCADD’s HOPE LINE directs callers to numerous affiliate programs around the country to assist, at a local level, with substance use issues.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357)
- National agency dedicated to prevention of drug use, and treatment of existing drug problems. You can get around-the-clock help in finding local drug treatment centers.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline
- 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357)
- 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD) for hearing impaired
- Confidential information service for individuals and family members faced with substance use disorders and/or mental health issues. Information available in English and Spanish.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)
- Not just a suicide hotline, this lifeline offers help with issues of drug and alcohol use.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- 1 (855) DRUG-FREE (378-4373)
- While not a crisis line, this hotline provides information to parents about adolescent and teen drug use, prevention, and treatment.
Many state government websites will also provide local drug and alcohol resources to those in need. To find your state government’s website, do a web search for your state name and ‘.gov’. Once your state website is located, substance use resources shouldn’t be hard to find and should provide further phone contacts for assistance.
Are you ready to take the first step towards recovery?
American Addiction Centers (AAC) may be able to help. Call us now at 1-888-744-0069 to learn more about your drug addiction treatment options.
Drug-Specific Hotline Numbers
There are also toll-free alcohol abuse hotline numbers and resources available.
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