Alcohol and Drug Hotlines

4 Sections
2 min read
What you will learn:
  • What are hotlines and knowing when to call.
  • Treatment programs that are offered at AAC.
  • Drug and alcohol hotlines you can call for help.

When you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse issues, it’s completely normal to feel like you don’t know what to do. Luckily, free and confidential hotlines exist for people who are in your exact position. The educated advisors on these hotlines can point you towards affordable treatment options, walk you through the process of entering treatment, and provide you with other resources to point you in the right direction. Learn how below.

Spanish Version

Is the Conversation Confidential When I Call a Helpline?

Alcohol and drug hotlines are anonymous and confidential toll-free numbers that offer assistance to those with a drug or alcohol addiction. They are staffed by trained advisors, some of whom are also in recovery themselves.

American Addiction Centers offers free and confidential guidance to those suffering from addiction. Call us today at .

How to Prepare for an Alcohol or Drug Abuse Hotline Call

Woman dialing the number of a hotline to talk to some about her substance addiction

If you or a loved one has an addiction or is in need for some free guidance and support with substance abuse issues, calling a hotline and talking with an advisor is a good and free place to start. If you are still unsure if calling a hotline is the right thing to do, here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you decide:

  • Are you afraid that you or a loved one’s use of drugs or alcohol has started to become more serious, or is causing problems?
  • Are you or a loved one currently addicted to drugs or alcohol and wanting to get and stay sober, but are unsure of where to turn or how to start?
  • Are you looking for advice on how to engage a loved one about their addiction or provide them some resources to get help and start treatment for their addiction?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider calling a drug or alcohol hotline. However, if you are still unsure whether you should call, here are some signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home in favor of drug or alcohol use.
  • Wanting to quit drinking alcohol and/or using drugs, but being unable to stop.
  • Experiencing significant cravings or irritability when not using drugs or consuming alcohol.
  • Using drugs or consuming alcohol despite the impact on relationships, jobs, finances, and physical and mental health it may cause.
  • Using more of a substance than intended, or needing to use more of a substance in order to achieve the same result/feeling as when you first began using, which is referred to as tolerance.
  • Experiencing mental and/or physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop using drugs or alcohol, which is referred to as dependence.

If one or more of these signs or symptoms sound familiar, then a drug and alcohol hotline can help you or your loved one take the first step towards recovery.

Emergency Calls

If you or a loved one is experiencing a medical or psychological emergency, such as overdose, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Do not call a hotline, as they are not equipped to handle these situations.

Addiction­­­ can take a heavy toll on the people around you; hotlines are available to both the person addicted as well as their loved ones. While these hotlines cannot provide counseling services, they do provide support, education, and resources to help you or your loved one better understand how to get additional help and steps to addiction treatment.

Addiction helplines typically help people who are struggling with abusing drugs such as:

  • Marijuana.
  • Dissociatives (PCP, DXM, Ketamine, etc.).
  • Club Drugs (Ecstasy/Molly, GHB, etc.).
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, etc.).
  • Study drugs (Adderall, etc.).
  • Ambien.
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, etc.).
  • Cocaine.
  • Crack.
  • Crystal meth.
  • Prescription Opioids (Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.).
  • Fentanyl.
  • Heroin.
  • Opioids.
  • Alcohol.

Can a Person Start Rehab or the Recovery Process at the Time of the Call?

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is the largest network of facilities in the United States that provides varied levels of care and wrap-around support for people who are ready to take control of their addiction.

Our facilities provide treatment programs that are backed up by research and delivered by a staff of qualified addiction professionals. What makes AAC truly stand out from other organizations is our wide range of treatment options, our 90-day promise, and our alumni network.

AAC is the nation’s leading provider in addiction treatment and research. We are committed to working with you to determine the best course of action to treat the disease impacting your life, and we are just a quick phone call away.

Free Hotline Resources

The following hotline resources are also free, confidential, and available 24/7:

  • Al-Anon and Ala-teen hotline line: 800-356-9996 – Counselors provide support to teens and adults who are negatively impacted by alcohol addiction and provide resources to group therapy nearby for ongoing support.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357 – English/Spanish speaking counselors provide referrals to treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based services.
  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 – Support to help those in crisis process their emotional distress and prevent suicide.
  • Boys Town: 1-800-448-3000 – Over 140 languages can be translated; they also provide a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) line for the speech and hearing impaired (1-800-448-1833).
  • Drugfree.org: call 855-378-4373 or text 55753 – Counselors provide support and education and guide you to the best course of action.

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Sarah Hardey
A Senior Web Content Editor for the American Addiction Centers. Sarah has worked with healthcare facilities across the country to create digital content for readers of all types.
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