Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hotline Guide

Trying to find help when you or a loved one is dealing with substance misuse can be a challenge, and you may be confused as to where to turn for help. However, alcohol and drug hotlines can assist you with your search for help. This article will cover:

  • What alcohol and drug hotlines are.
  • When you should call a hotline.
  • Treatment options at Recovery First.
  • Free treatment hotlines.

If you or your family member is experiencing medical complications from addiction or having a mental health crisis, including expressing thoughts of suicide or harming others, you must call 911.

Mental Health & Substance Misuse Helpline Resources

Numerous treatment options are available through free hotlines.

  • SAMHSA: 1-800-662-4357. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is a federal government resource for behavioral health and substance misuse treatment and information. SAMHSA has information on free and low- cost treatment programs.
  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 is a helpful hotline for people experiencing suicidal thoughts. However, their services are open to anyone dealing with struggles who want to talk about them.
  • Boys Town: 800-448-3000 is a free hotline staffed 24/7 for anyone experiencing mental health or substance misuse issues. If you prefer, you can text VOICE to 20121 between noon and midnight CST.
  • Lines for Life Alcohol and Drug helpline at 1-800-923-4357. If you are in crisis you can call their suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. For support for veterans, service members and their families, call 1-888-457-4838.

What to Do During a Drug Overdose

If you suspect that someone is experiencing a drug overdose, it is absolutely imperative that you do not call at hotline at this time, rather you should call 911 immediately. Once you have called 911, there are a few steps you can take to offer the individual assistance until emergency medical services arrive. These steps include the following:1

  1. If you have naloxone and believe that the individual may be overdosing on opioids, administer it right away. You will not cause any damage or harm if the individual is not overdosing on opioids.
  2. Try to keep the individual awake and breathing.
  3. Place the individual in the recovery position, which is one their side, to prevent choking.
  4. Stay with the individual until emergency medical help arrives.

It is important to know that is most states, laws exist that protect those who call 911 for a suspected overdose from experiencing any potential legal issues as a result of drug activity.1

When to Call a Substance Abuse Hotline

Anyone can call a drug or alcohol hotline. It may be a good time to call if you believe you have an addiction or you think a loved one is addicted.

While information is not a substitute for a full assessment by a professional, it can be helpful to know the symptoms of a substance use disorder, which can include:2

  • Using more of a substance than you originally intended to use.
  • Using a substance despite knowing that the substance causes mental health or physical problems for you.
  • Using substances in high-risk situations, such as driving under the influence or operating heavy machinery.
  • Spending large amounts of time looking for substances, using substances, and recovering from using substances.
  • Using, even though your substance use causes increased conflict with your family members.
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to cut back or stop using on your own.
  • Substance use that leads to your inability to fulfill your roles in your life, such as parenting or working.
  • Experiencing a strong desire or craving to use substances.
  • Giving up activities that were once important to you, such as hobbies or sports, in favor of substance use.
  • Experiencing increased tolerance, evidenced by feeling fewer effects from the same amount of the substance that used to give you a high, or needing to take more of a substance to get the desired effects.
  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, which occur with substances such as opioids or alcohol when you stop using. To avoid these symptoms of withdrawal, which can be hard to manage, you might also take more of this 

Although hotlines are a helpful source of information, they are not appropriate for emergencies.

If you or your family member is experiencing medical complications from addiction or having a mental health crisis, including expressing thoughts of suicide or harming others, you must call 911.

The Usefulness of a Drug Addiction Hotline

employees at a american addiction centers answering calls for patients wanting treatmentAddiction can create a range of problems for both the addicted person and their loved ones. The person who is using substances and those close to them face a challenging journey. And finding the right kind of help for drug or alcohol misuse may not be easy for some.

A hotline can be a very useful resource. They’re anonymous, which means that you can be comfortable seeking treatment information without anyone knowing that you are doing so. You can call a hotline if you are struggling with addiction or you can call for your loved one.

When you call the American Addiction Centers’ hotline (American Addiction Centers is the parent company of Recovery First), for instance, you will be connected with an Admissions Navigator who not only understands the many types of treatment options available, but may also has personal experience with addiction and recovery themselves.

This experience gives our advisors a unique perspective on addiction, seeking treatment, the challenges of entering a treatment program, and finding recovery.

Treatment Plan for Drug Addiction

Regardless of which type of treatment you enter, most programs have the same steps:

  • Assessment, in which a practitioner asks you numerous questions about your social support, substance use history, medical and mental health history, and current patterns of substance use.
  • An individualized treatment program, which is based on your needs that are determined by your assessment and outlines what type of treatment you need and how often and for how long you will attend treatment.
  • Individual and group counseling, in which you work with a trained counselor to explore the roots of your addiction and how to enter recovery and maintain it.
  • Introduction to self-help groups, such as AA, NA, Smart Recovery, and related programs, all of which are designed to help you connect with a recovery community and stay in recovery after leaving treatment.3

Rehab Options at Recovery First Treatment Center

If you decide that treatment is in the cards after talking to someone at a hotline, know that Recovery First has several substance misuse treatment options.


For many, detox is the first stop on the road to recovery. This is where medical professionals will help you through getting rid of any drugs and/or alcohol in your system.

Depending on the type of substance a person is using, they may need to go to a medical detox program to help them safely cope with physical withdrawal symptoms, particularly if the person is physically dependent on alcohol or benzodiazepines, a class of medications that includes Xanax, Klonipin, and Valium. Abruptly stopping these medications can result in seizures, which may be life-threatening.4,5

At Recovery First, nurses make rounds every 15 minutes to monitor your detox and withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient & Residential Treatment

This is the most intense form of treatment for substance misuse and includes 24/7 oversight and care. Not everyone requires inpatient treatment but can be a good option depending on the type of substances involved, the severity of a person’s substance use disorder, and if the person has underlying medical or psychiatric diagnoses.6

Outpatient Treatment

The outpatient approach to treatment comes in many different forms. At our facility, intensive outpatient treatment provides a course of treatment, which usually consists of 2 to 3 hours per day, 2 to 3 days per week. Outpatient treatment provides the same type of treatment as inpatient treatment except that you go home at night and can keep going to work or school while receiving treatment.2

Our Brand Promise

At American Addiction Centers, we believe so strongly in our programs that if you relapse after completing 90 days of consecutive treatment with us you can return for 30 days of free treatment. Terms and conditions may apply.

Specialty Programs

You or your loved one may have special treatment needs. We provide specialized care for military veterans, first responders, and health care providers.

We also treat people with co-occurring mental health disorders and substance misuse issues. This means that our programs offer support for both recovery from addiction and treatment for various mental and emotional disorders. 

Contact Recovery First’s 24/7 Addiction Treatment Services Today

At our drug rehab in Miami, our staff is available at all hours of the day and night and are ready to help support you on your journey towards recovery. Call us right now at and speak with one of our admissions navigators, who can help answer all of your questions, including those about what levels of care we offer and what your insurance options are.

Do not let one more day go by without getting the help you need. You can get started on the road to recovery by verifying your insurance with our .

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