Illinois Substance Abuse Hotline

3 min read · 7 sections

If you are dealing with addiction, whether it’s you or someone you care about, help is available. There are several confidential and free substance use hotlines in Illinois where you can get advice, resources, treatment options, support, and guidance. Many are available 24/7.

What Are Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotlines?

Alcohol and drug addiction helplines are free services that provide resources, information, and support to people who are struggling with addiction in a confidential environment. People who have a friend or family member who is struggling with substance misuse can also get invaluable information on how to help.

Alcohol and drug use hotlines are typically staffed by people who have undergone training that equips them to help people in crises, specifically involving substance addiction and misuse. Many times, it’s these hotlines that are a struggling person’s first step to getting the help they need to recover from their addiction.

Free Addiction Hotlines in Illinois

There are several addiction and mental illness hotlines for Illinois residents. Some are local to the state, but others are nationwide. Hotlines can be used to get immediate help for a crisis, get referred to a treatment facility, and more.

Illinois Helpline: Available 24/7, Illinois Helpline is a public, statewide resource for helping people find treatment services for opioid misuse and drug addiction in Illinois. It is not affiliated with any treatment program and is accessible to anyone who is either directly struggling with addiction or is seeking help for a loved one who is.1

  • 1-833-2FINDHELP (833-234-6343)
  • Text “HELP” to 833234

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): This is a confidential, free national helpline through SAMHSA, which helps people obtain resources and help for addiction and mental health issues. This helpline is available 24/7.2

  • 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Text zip code to  435748 (HELP4U)

The 988 Suicide Lifeline operates 24/7, 365 days a year and is operated by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).3

  • 9-8-8
  • Text 9-8-8

NAMI Helpline: Illinois NAMI casts a wide net, helping people dealing with many different types of crises, including addiction. This service is available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., ET.3

  • 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  • Text “HELPLINE” to 62640

2-1-1 Illinois: This is a collaborative state effort that includes Illinois United Way, the Illinois Health Department, and other government partners. It makes community resources, referrals, and information accessible to the people of Illinois for essential needs via a comprehensive database. This helpline is operational 24/7.4

  • 2-1-1
  • No text option

Safe2Help: This 24-hour helpline is geared toward students who need help and don’t have access to a trusted adult and deal with various issues that can be a threat to school safety, including addiction.5

  • 844-4-SAFEIL (723345)
  • Text SAFE2 (72332)
  • Email:
  • Download the Safe2Help App at either Google or Apple

Illinois Warmline: This helpline provides non-crisis support for people and their families who are dealing with substance use. The support specialists are available Monday–Friday 8 am–5 pm (excluding holidays) and are trained in advocacy, mentoring, and recovery support.9

American Addiction Centers (AAC) admissions navigators are available 24/7 to assist callers in getting admitted to AAC treatment facilities throughout the U.S.

Are Illinois Helpline Numbers Free?

Most drug addiction helplines in Illinois are free. Addiction text lines are also free, but your carrier may impose a charge for sending or receiving texts. If you aren’t sure whether or not you will be charged, check with your mobile carrier to make sure.

Many hotlines are available 24/7, but not all. Some have certain hours of operation and may only operate on certain days. Before you call a hotline, take a moment to check and make sure that it is open when you need it and that a counselor is available to talk to you.

Even if you aren’t ready for a hotline yet, it’s a good idea to have at least one that you can access quickly. Review some of the hotline numbers and put one or two in your phone. Even if you are not in crisis now, it is always smart to have one that is readily available.

Emergency Calls

If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, such as an overdose, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not call a hotline in these types of situations, as they are not equipped to handle them.

If you or a friend are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8 to get the support you need.

Preparing for an Alcohol or Drug Abuse Hotline Call

It’s not necessary to prepare for a call, however, it may be beneficial to think about any questions that you might want to ask the operator or counselor. 

If you feel like you are ready to get treatment or enter rehab immediately, you will need to provide some information to the person who is assisting you. It’s a good idea to have on hand your:

  • Insurance information.
  • Health history (i.e., whether you have any co-occurring mental or physical health conditions, whether you’ve been in treatment before, etc.).
  • Medications you are currently taking.

This helps the admissions navigator better help you. Having a clear understanding of what is going on with you will help them address your situation better and provide more personalized assistance.

What Happens When You Call a Substance Abuse Hotline?

When you call a hotline, you will be quickly connected to trained professionals who will listen to you, ask questions to better understand your situation, and offer support. In some cases this may include referral to a formal addiction treatment facility.

Many times the person you speak with has also struggled with substance use and gone through rehab or other types of treatment in the recovery process. They understand what you are going through and why you might feel apprehensive about seeking help.

The helpline operator will likely ask you some questions to gain insight into your mental state, physical limitations, current needs, and other issues that could impact your treatment. These questions may include:

  • Are you in immediate danger?
  • Are you looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one?
  • Are you having suicidal thoughts?
  • Do you have someone you can call to be with you?
  • Are you currently under the influence?

By the end of the call, you will usually have several local resources where you can get help or even a plan to get into rehab or a treatment program. Ultimately though, where it goes after the call is up to you.

Is the Conversation Confidential When I Call a Substance Abuse Helpline?

Yes. When you call a drug hotline number, you get to decide how much information you want to give. If you have any privacy concerns, voice them at the beginning of the call.

If you are calling a rehabilitation center directly or a network of facilities like AAC, you’ll likely have to provide some personal information like your name, insurance provider, and insurance policy number to verify your coverage during the admissions process. Any information you give AAC is completely confidential and protected under The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Can I Text an Illinois Substance Abuse Helpline Number Instead of Calling?

Many hotlines and crisis centers offer addiction textlines as part of their support options and many more have plans to add it to their services soon. Typically, you will text a number that will connect you with a counselor. Once you are connected, it proceeds much like a telephone call to the hotline. The counselor will ask you the same types of questions, listen to you, and offer support and advice.

Some hotlines also have a live chat option or email that you can access via their website.

Finding Help Near You

If you are struggling with addiction or experiencing the heartbreak of watching someone you love struggle with it, it is important to know that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from a substance use hotline in Illinois.

You can also reach out to American Addiction Centers to explore treatment options at our facilities across the United States. Our compassionate admissions navigators at can answer your questions and help you get the care you need.

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