A local or toll-free addiction hotline provides an opportunity to speak with someone about a drug or alcohol problem, ask questions and receive support without having to pay for the privilege. This would be impossible in a traditional counseling setting. Most are anonymous, and if not, must adhere to strict privacy laws, allowing for more freedom than a face-to-face meeting. Addiction helplines are a great way to begin, continue or keep up the recovery process.
Calling an addiction helpline may seem simple enough; just pick up the phone and dial. Often easier said than done, worries about what the person on the other end of the line will think may prevent the first call from ever happening. Even though these fears are unfounded, they seem very real and often get in the way of that first step in seeking help. Realizing that most of the people staffing these hotlines have already been through these issues themselves or with a family member may make that first call a little bit easier. Jotting down a short list of questions and concerns before calling can help you stay focused and will ensure that you are able to talk about everything you planned to cover.
Hotlines can provide information about court orders, detox, treatment facilities, addiction treatment programs, insurance and just about anything else related to treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. You can be certain that whatever your addiction might be, there is sure to be someone on the other end of a hotline who has been through the same difficulty as you. Questions and concerns will be answered by individuals who know what it takes to become free from drug and alcohol addiction and who now use their success stories and knowledge to assist others.
There are countless types of addiction, from the stereotypical heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine addiction, to so-called club drugs such as MDM and ecstasy, steroids, alcohol and many more. An unexpected and often hidden addiction is that to prescription medications. Otherwise beneficial medications such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants, when abused, or taken in a manner or dosage other than as prescribed, can produce serious adverse health effects and can lead to addiction. Even some over the counter medications, such as cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan, also beneficial when taken as recommended, can lead to serious consequences.
Addiction can be extremely lonely. If a person has not revealed their problem, they may not be able to talk with anyone they know about it, or more unfortunately, friends and family may have grown tired of listening. As a result, an addict may not have anywhere else to turn but to a hotline. Given an opportunity to ask questions that they can’t or don’t feel comfortable, asking anywhere else, can meet an important need, even if only temporarily.
For immediate assistance with drug or alcohol addiction, the following numbers are available, toll-free on a 24-hour, 7 day a week basis:
National Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)
24 Hour Helpline for Those Struggling With Addiction 1-866-569-7077
Drug Addiction Crisis and Referral Hotline 1-888-268-9124
Free Addiction Hotline 877-259-5634
Ecstasy Addiction 1-800-468-6933
Drug Help National Helplines 1-800-378-4435
Cocaine Help Line 1-800-COCAINE (1-800-262-2463)
24 Hour Cocaine Hotline 1-800-992-9239
Al-Anon/Alateen Hotline 1-800-344-2666
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters 1-800-356-9996
Be Sober Hotline 1-800-BE-SOBER (1-800-237-6237)