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Alcohol Addiction Hotline Guide

An alcohol anonymous hotline can help those struggling with alcoholism to find help during times of crisis. Usually toll-free, calling these numbers can connect them with licensed treatment facilities or assist them in finding recovery resources and support groups such as AA or Al-Anon in the area.

While calling an AA hotline is typically the initial step to working toward recovery, they are meant to be a beneficial tool for those who may have questions about treatment, withdrawal symptoms, how to speak to a loved one about excessive alcohol use or any other issues you may be facing.

What Is an Alcohol Addiction Hotline?

alcohol addiction hotline

When a person is addicted to alcohol, it can be difficult for them to quit drinking on their own, or they may find themselves relapsing after various attempts to remain sober. Because of this, an alcohol anonymous hotline can be useful in connecting individuals with a trusted advisor to answer any questions they may have about substance abuse, most often 24-hours-a-day.

Are Alcohol Hotlines Private and Confidential?

Alcohol addiction hotlines are anonymous and confidential, so you don’t have to disclose any personal information. In some cases, advisors may also be individuals who’ve gone through treatment themselves, such as the admissions navigators at American Addiction Centers (AAC). AAC admissions navigators are available day or night to discuss treatment and provide a safe and comforting space for you to share your experience with substance abuse. As a subsidiary of AAC, Alcohol.org is committed to making recovery accessible to everyone in need, while offering further insight into this chronic disease.

Although addiction helplines are trusted resources, they cannot provide emergency care. If addiction has led to a medically or mentally-dangerous situation (such as suicide attempts), call 911 immediately.

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

Only a trained addiction professional can diagnose you with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). To be diagnosed with AUD, individuals must meet any two of the below criteria within the same 12-month period:

  • Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.
  • Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.
  • Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.
  • Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  • Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.
  • Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
  • Being unable to fulfill major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
  • Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).
  • Having a tolerance (i.e. needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve desired effect).
  • Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.

Should I Call an Alcohol Hotline?

The decision to finally get help for an alcohol addiction is a brave step toward regaining control of your life. Even if you’re unsure or scared about calling an alcohol addiction hotline, there’s no harm in speaking with someone about your concerns. And chances are, you’ll be glad you did.

Addiction is complex and complicated, and it leaves people feeling confused and frustrated. Calling an alcohol hotline can add clarity and confidence about your next steps toward starting treatment.

Please note that while alcohol helplines are trusted resources, they cannot offer emergency care. If addiction and substance use has led to a medically or mentally dangerous situation, call 911.

Preparing to Call an Alcohol Helpline

As you’re getting ready to reach out for help, it can be helpful to gather as much information as possible. The trained staff member who answers the phone will ask you questions about:

  • How much and how often you or your loved one drink and how long you’ve been using alcohol.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.
  • Your insurance.

Questions to Ask an Alcohol Hotline

This is also your chance to ask any questions you have. Questions may differ depending on if you are calling a general hotline or a specific treatment center. When speaking to someone at a general hotline, consider questions such as:

  • What resources are in my area? The hotline staff may be able to direct you to both public and private programs near you.
  • What does treatment usually entail? Many people seeking help for the first time don’t know what to expect. Make sure to ask the hotline staff any questions you have as knowing more about what generally happens during treatment may help you feel more comfortable about going.

Questions to Ask an Alcohol Rehab Center

As for speaking to someone at a specific treatment center, questions you might want to ask could include:

  • Do you offer evidence-based treatment? This shows you that the facility uses treatments and makes decisions about a person’s care that are consistent with the current best evidence published in peer-reviewed scientific studies.
  • Will my insurance pay for treatment? Be sure to have your insurance card ready.
  • What types of treatment are available? This may include inpatient or outpatient services and other amenities.
  • How long does treatment typically take? Length of treatment will depend on the level of care assessed by a professional. Be sure to ask what options the facility has for treatment length to ensure you’ll have access to the proper level of care.
  • Where are you located? Some people prefer to stay close to home while in treatment. Others may prefer to be in an environment separate from their daily life to focus on their recovery.
  • How much does addiction treatment cost? Treatment cost varies depending on a number of factors including the facility, type of treatment, amenities, location, and other services. Be sure to ask if the facility offers any kind of financing, payment plans, or grants that may help cover the cost of treatment.

These lists are only a small sample of questions you might have. It may be helpful to take a couple minutes to write down your own list of personal questions before you call.

Treating Alcohol Addiction at American Addiction Centers

Taking the first step to seeking professional help for alcoholism can feel scary and overwhelming. Whether for you or for someone you love, AAC makes this process easy and accessible for those ready to begin their journey to sobriety.

AAC’s network of facilities offers a wide range of treatment options including medical detox, dual-diagnosis, acute crisis stabilization, residential program, intensive outpatient program (IOP), and general outpatient. By calling our admissions navigators you’ll have access to information about any of our treatment centers so you’re able to make the best choice possible for you or your loved one.

After completing treatment with AAC, you’ll also be able to benefit from an alumni support system, quality care, and a 90-day promise. If you relapse after completing 90 days of treatment within an AAC program, they can return for 30 days of complimentary treatment. Additionally, AAC alumni from across the country host fun gatherings and events while alumni coordinators check-in regularly to ensure those recovering from substance abuse benefit from continued support. 

Free National and 24-Hour Alcohol Hotlines

Below are a number of different national substance use hotlines if you need assistance in finding help for addiction:

  • Al-Anon and Ala-teen hotline line: 1-800-356-9996. Counselors offer support to teens and adults who are negatively impacted by alcohol addiction, as well as resources to group therapy nearby for ongoing support.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357. Counselors offer referrals to treatment centers, support groups, and community-based services. They also have an online Treatment Services Locator.
  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255. Support to help those in crisis process their emotional distress and prevent suicide.
  • Drugfree.org: call 1-855-378-4373 or text 55753. Counselors offer support and education for parents of children with substance use disorders.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255. Counselors connect you with resources and support.