Let’s get this out of the way up front – if you or someone you know needs immediate help for a life-threatening situation, or is at risk for harming themselves or others, call 9-1-1 immediately. 911 operators can immediately dispatch the proper response drawing from local resources. They’re best equipped to handle imperative crises. An addiction helpline is for those not in life-threatening situations.
Assuming that we’re not talking about a life-threatening situation, there are several free addiction hotlines and recovery helplines are best leveraged when one challenged with alcohol abuse or addiction is seeking advice/free hotline counseling, and wants to know where to get help for alcohol abuse.
Of course, you can call us at Renaissance Recovery 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have live recovery specialists ready to answer all of your questions. After determining eligibility, it’s not uncommon for us to have placed a patient in Rehab within 24 hours of their call.
Understanding That You Need Help
One of the most obvious signs of addiction is when your main focus of each day is obtaining and using a substance whether it’s alcohol or opiates. If you spend an inordinate part of your day thinking about when, where and how to use a substance, you likely have an addiction problem that needs to be addressed.
At first, the addiction might be taking a backseat to your other daily activities but before long, you’re planning your activities around using substances.
Another indicator is that you find yourself hanging less with long time friends and more with a relatively new group of friends, many of whom might share substances with you. When you see this happening, it’s a strong indicator that you’ve crossed into addiction.
When Your Health Starts to Suffer, It’s Time for Help
Substance abuse wreaks havoc with the mind and the body and will lead to a myriad of physical and mental health problems. Look for these symptoms:
- Physical health. The physical health consequences of drug abuse can range from mild to fatal, depending on a number of factors such as how long the user has taken the drug, the amount taken, and the type of drug.
- Mental health. Most drugs cause changes in a user’s mental state in some way. This could manifest as increased anxiety and agitation, depression, and even symptoms of psychosis.
If you or friends and family begin to observe changes in your behavior, or the way you think, this is another good sign that you need treatment. If your physical or mental symptoms are severe, you may want to consider seeking professional medical or psychological help.
What Is an Addiction Helpline?
An addiction helpline is a generic term for any sort of “hotline” that helps to connect people with addiction recovery resources. Each one is different insofar as what services they provide, but the general focus is on matching your needs with available resources.
When connected, you will be advised as to available treatment options as well as aftercare programs to help maintain sobriety. This hotline can also be viewed as a rehab hotline or a withdrawal hotline, if you have specific questions about withdrawal symptoms. Whether you call an addiction helpline number or a recovery hotline, you will be one step closer to your recovery.
What Kind of Questions Will They Ask When I Call an Addiction Helpline?
In the event you’re considering call us or other addiction helplines, you should be prepared to answer some questions. What questions will be asked asked will depend upon which addiction helpline service you call. Generally, the questions will revolve around the common ones:
- What substances are being used?
- How long have you been using?
- At what intervals? Dosage size?
- Background health info?
- Living situation?
- Other considerations relative to the addiction (mental health issues, physical disabilities)
- Determining if the caller i ready to treatment immediately
- Eligibility questions to help suggest programs that can assist in addiction recovery treatment
These questions should be answered openly and freely. Remember: you’re essentially interviewing these companies to determine which will be the best option for you. The only thing that matters is you and your recovery.
Can I Begin Addiction Treatment or Set up Rehab at the Time of My Call?
Absolutely. When calling Renaissance Recovery for example, we are singularly focused on finding an addiction treatment program that will work for you – even if it isn’t at one of our facilities.
If you are calling a toll-free local or national addiction hotline, they may or may not assist you in finding treatment, but they might instead make recommendations as to what types of facilities you should be looking at such as Rehab/detox, intensive outpatient or sober living. If immediate treatment is what you’re after, we are here to help.
Nationwide Resources (available in all States)
For Emergencies and Crisis Situations
The Local Emergency number from anywhere in the USA is 9-1-1. Dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone’s life is in danger.
- Available 24 Hours
The National Poison Control Center provides a totally free, totally confidential consultation during which you can speak to professionals for any crisis, including cases involving drugs and/or alcohol.
- Available 24 Hours a Day
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline If someone is threatening suicide, always take it seriously and call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Available 24 Hours a Day
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 abuse disorders and/or mental health issues. Information available in English and Spanish
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357)
- National agency dedicated to prevention of drug abuse, and treatment of existing drug problems. Round the clock help in finding local drug treatment centers.
Are You Afraid to Call?
Don’t be. The people through an addiction helpline have heard thousands of stories. This isn’t about judgment, it’s about getting you help. In fact, these addiction helplines are highly motivated to connect you with the best possible addiction recovery resources. Although a bit of courage is needed to pick up the phone, this is actually the easiest part of the recovery process.
Remember that there are no risks as the calls are always confidential due to HIPAA laws. While they collect your information, by law, it cannot be shared without written consent from you. Their job is simply to provide you options, then connect you with the right treatment center.
Take Action Before It’s Too Late
No addiction recovery program can help you if you don’t pick up the phone and reach out for help. Too often, we see patients come through who have so much physical damage to their bodies that could have been prevented if they had just acted earlier. The short term healthcare implications are scary enough – the long term affects of substance abuse are even scarier.