For many people, calling a drug abuse hotline is the first step in getting treatment for addiction. If you have been living with drug addiction and do not know where to turn, a drug abuse hotline can provide you with the information and support you need to start on your journey toward recovery.
What Are Drug Abuse Hotlines?
A drug abuse hotline provides information and referrals for people living with an addiction and looking for help. When you call a drug abuse hotline, a staff member who is trained in addiction will answer your questions, provide you with information about addiction treatment and refer you to a rehab or treatment center that meets your needs. Sometimes, family members who are concerned about a loved one’s drug use will contact a drug abuse hotline to learn how they can help or get their loved one into treatment.
In some cases, drug abuse hotlines are associated with a specific facility. This means that when you call the hotline number for drug abuse at that facility, a staff member will refer you to services within that facility. Before calling a drug hotline associated with a treatment facility, it is important to ensure that the facility is reputable. One way to confirm that you are contacting a reputable treatment center is to choose one that is accredited. When a facility is accredited, it means that a professional organization has evaluated the facility to ensure that it meets certain standards of quality and patient care.
One benefit of calling a drug addiction hotline is that phone calls are typically confidential. A trained staff member will listen to your concerns and help you to determine what sort of treatment you or your loved one needs — all while keeping the phone call private. Sometimes, a person may be concerned about reaching out for help because they fear others will find out about their addiction, so confidentiality is an important benefit of drug abuse hotlines.
While most hotlines for drug addiction are confidential, it is important to check with the hotline’s specific confidentiality policy before calling. Different hotlines may have different policies surrounding confidentiality.
When To Call a Drug Hotline vs. 911
While a drug addiction hotline can be helpful for those struggling with addiction and seeking help, they typically are not the best option for someone who is in a crisis or emergency situation. For instance, if you are showing signs of an overdose or have been physically injured as a result of drug use, it is important to call 911 so that you can receive emergency medical treatment. Drug hotlines are not able to respond as quickly to emergencies when compared to your local paramedics and police department.
What To Expect When Calling an Addiction Hotline
When calling an addiction hotline, you should be prepared to answer questions regarding your (or your loved one’s) history of substance abuse. The hotline staff member will likely ask you what sort of substances you have been using and how long you have been using drugs or alcohol. The staff member will ensure that you are safe, and they will ask questions about your living situation, what sort of insurance coverage you have to help you pay for treatment and where you would like to go for treatment.
Can You Text a Drug Hotline?
While most people probably think of calling a helpline on the phone, there are some drug hotline services that allow text messaging for those who prefer this method of communication. For example, Just Think Twice, which is affiliated with the Drug Enforcement Administration, offers a text hotline for those seeking help.
Are There Drug-Specific Hotlines?
Some facilities may advertise drug-specific hotlines, such as a heroin hotline, but most drug addiction helplines are qualified to answer questions about any type of drug addiction. In some cases, facilities may offer a separate alcohol addiction hotline.
National Drug and Alcohol Hotlines
National drug and alcohol hotlines are available to take calls and refer people to addiction treatment services anywhere across the United States. The following national drug abuse hotlines are available:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a nationwide drug and alcohol hotline at 1-800-662-4357. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. It is free and available to individuals with addictions as well as their family members, and hotline staff members are able to link callers to addiction treatment in their areas.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: Also available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, this organization offers a drug and alcohol hotline at 1-800-622-2255.
- National Intervention Referral: This national drug hotline is available at 800-399-3612. It is designed for family members seeking to perform an intervention to address a loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse.
Drug Hotlines in New Jersey
In addition to national drug and alcohol hotlines, there are N.J. drug abuse hotlines. These include:
- IME Addictions Access Center: This N.J. drug abuse hotline is available 24 hours per day and seven days per week to provide information and referral to treatment across the state. The hotline can be reached at 1-844-276-2777 and is both free and confidential.
- 211 New Jersey: By calling 1-844-732-2465, you can reach this free, confidential N.J. drug abuse hotline. It is a drug abuse hotline for families as well, as the staff is prepared to link callers to treatment and provide support for family members.
The Recovery Village’s 24/7 Confidential Helpline
If you are seeking the services of a drug addiction hotline, The Recovery Village is here to help. We offer a confidential drug addiction hotline that is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. We have rehab centers located across the country and can help you to choose a rehab program that best meets your needs. You can also begin the admissions process for detox or rehab during your call. If you are in the New Jersey area, contact The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper to begin your recovery journey.
The following frequently asked questions provide additional information about drug hotlines:
When you call an addiction hotline, a trained staff member will collect information from you, such as what drugs you are using, where you live, and what you’d like to get out of treatment. With your permission, you will be referred to addiction treatment in your area.
A local drug hotline is one that is central to your area and can provide you with referrals to local treatment resources.
If you call a drug help hotline, a staff member will provide you with information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment services and, with your permission, refer you to treatment.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.