Substance Abuse Hotlines for California
What is an Addiction Hotline?
Offered by various national, state, and local agencies as well as nonprofit and for-profit organizations, addiction hotlines are typically free and confidential resources for people looking for information, support, and treatment referrals related to drug and alcohol misuse.
Often available 24/7, addiction hotlines are typically staffed by counselors, social workers, or other trained professionals who can provide valuable information and/or support. Additionally, some hotlines are specifically designed for those in immediate crisis. For example, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline connects callers to a national network of local crisis centers for emotional support in times of need. Also note that some hotlines offer the opportunity to chat or message with professionals online or via phone.
Hotlines can provide a wealth of information such as:
- Treatment facility referrals.
- Community resources.
- Support group referrals.
- Insights on treatment options and levels of care.
- Rehab payment options.
- Insurance verification.
Hotlines are a valuable resource for those looking for assistance for themselves as well as those seeking to help a loved one.
Keep in mind, however, that addiction hotlines are unable to provide emergency mental or physical care. If you or someone you love needs immediate care, call 911.
Types of California Hotlines
Alcohol and addiction hotlines in California are run by a variety of organizations, including:
- Nonprofit government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels (e.g., the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA]).
- Treatment facilities and hospitals (e.g., Laguna Treatment Hospital).
- Local support groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous).
American Addiction Centers offers free and confidential support to those struggling with substance use disorders.
AAC representatives are available 24/7 to discuss treatment options, verify insurance, and more. They work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you or your loved one.
Free Alcohol and Drug Addiction Hotlines in California
Myriad hotlines are available throughout California. Common options include:
- America Addiction Centers (ACC): . With treatment facilities scattered across the U.S. and one situated in Aliso Viejo, CA, AAC offers trained professionals that can answer treatment questions, direct you to inpatient and outpatient rehab, verify insurance, discuss payment options, and more.
- SAMHSA’s National Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This confidential service is available 24/7 to answer questions and provide local treatment referrals or information about support groups.1
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741. This text-only resource connects people to counselors who can answer questions or help them through a crisis. Services are also available via chat and What’s App.2
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988. This is an emergency line for those in crisis.3
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-6264 (Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or Text “HelpLine” to 62640. This nationwide hotline is staffed by people who have experienced addiction and who can answer questions, share their own experiences, and offer support.4
- California Addiction Hotline: 1-866-210-1303. This number connects you with a specialist who can answer questions and help you find resources.5
- Alcoholics Anonymous 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-839-1686. Staffed by trained volunteers who will listen and answer queries, the AA hotline can refer you to the closest peer group meeting.6
- SUD Non-Emergency Treatment Referral Line: 1-800-879-2772. This state-operated program can help you understand and find treatment options. The referral line is available in both English and Spanish.7
- Boys Town Hotline: 1-800-448-300 or Text “VOICE” to 20121. Boys Town is a program for teens regardless of gender. The hotline helps parents and teens better understand addiction and treatment.8
- 211 California: 211 or Text Your Zip Code to TXT211 (i.e., 898211). This comprehensive hotline connects people to a host of services.9
Preparing to Call a California Hotline for Addiction
Calling a hotline without any preparation is perfectly fine. Trained professionals can help talk through your needs to better assist you. However, if you want to prepare for your call, it helps to think about what you hope to accomplish and the precise questions you want answered. Consider writing down these questions to ensure you make the most of your time.
Some questions you might ask include:
- What are the different types of drug and alcohol treatment available?
- What happens during treatment, and how long does it last?
- What options are available to pay for rehab?
- Will my insurance cover treatment?
- What resources are available in my area of California?
It’s also helpful to have some of the following information at hand if you’re ready to enter treatment.
- Full name.
- Insurance and contact information.
Depending on the hotline you choose, the confidential conversation may include:
- Assessment of your substance use issues.
- Recommendations for level of care.
- Referrals to resources or treatment centers.
- Substance misuse and treatment information.
- Insurance verification.
- Exchange of admissions-related information.
Addiction hotlines are valuable resources for anyone affected by substance use disorders. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance misuse or you’re in search of treatment facilities in California, help is just a phone call (or text) away.