What is an Alcohol Abuse Hotline?
An alcohol abuse hotline (helpline) is most often a phone service where callers can find answers to questions about alcohol addiction. Some of the existing addiction helplines are free and have people answering calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A 24-hour alcohol abuse hotline may provide support for both those who are abusing alcohol and their family and friends.
Based on the group that is providing the service, alcohol hotlines may offer help in various ways, including:
- Information on alcohol abuse signs and symptoms.
- Contact information on treatment resources.
- Intervention strategies for family and friends of an alcohol abuser.
Alcohol addiction is not always easy to recognize in yourself or a loved one, but it can have devastating effects if left untreated. Seeking help for alcohol dependency can begin when you decide to find a reputable alcohol addiction recovery hotline and make the call. A phone call to an addiction helpline is a great way to speak to someone who has experience with alcohol addiction and can provide the support you need.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is a depressant that can be addictive when overused.1 It is important to be aware of the early warning signs that may indicate that someone has an alcohol addiction. Signs of a problem with alcohol may include the following:2
- Legal troubles with your job or your finances.
- Drinking in dangerous social situations.
- Inability to meet home, school, or work responsibilities.
- Continued alcohol use despite negative social impacts.
If you or someone you know has exhibited one or more of these behaviors, it may be time to seek help through an alcohol abuse hotline.
How Alcohol Abuse Changes the Body
Prolonged alcohol abuse can have serious effects on the health of an addict. The Centers for Disease Control states that the following health problems can be the result of alcohol abuse:1
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
There are other health risks associated with alcohol abuse that may not be as obvious. Those who drink to excess are more likely to be hurt from a fall or an accidental drowning. Alcohol can also be a contributing factor in traffic or car accidents, domestic violence and child abuse.1
Binge drinking occurs when a men drinks 5 or more alcoholic drinks or a woman drinks 4 or more drinks in around 2 hours. It is one of the most common and deadly uses of alcohol in the U.S. One in 6 adults binge drinks around 4 times each month—drinking about 6 drinks per binge.3 Binge drinking presents serious risks—including violence, sexually transmitted diseases, chronic diseases, memory problems, and alcohol dependence.3
What to Look for in a Center
One way to prevent serious health risks associated with alcohol abuse is to stop drinking with the help of trained professionals. It is never too late to end alcohol abuse and start living a substance-free and sober lifestyle.
The main things to pay attention to when choosing an alcohol rehab center are:
- The cost of the program.
- Whether it offers detox, if you know you’ll need help with withdrawal.
- The location.
- The experience and credentials of the staff.
- The amenities of the program (gym, pool, chef-prepared meals) and what you’ll need to feel comfortable.
- The program’s treatment philosophy (evidence-based, 12-step, religious).
Every program is different, and every person is different. The best program for you or your loved one will be the one whose services and features match your needs.
How to Pay for Treatment
When it comes to paying for an alcohol rehab, you have several options.
First, see if your insurance covers rehab. Many health insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of a rehab stay.
If your insurance doesn’t cover rehab, find out if the program offers a payment plan or a sliding scale rate. Payment plans allow you to pay off the cost of rehab over time, while a sliding scale charges you based on what you can afford.
Another option is to seek sources of outside funding such as crowdfunding sites (GoFundMe), friends and family, and your savings. You can also look into health care credit cards or loans. But make sure you are getting a good interest rate and can pay off the cost over a reasonable period of time.
Recovery.org is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers (AAC) and is a leading provider in alcohol addiction treatment.
To see if your insurance covers alcohol treatment at one of our facilities, use our online insurance checker
How to Prepare for an Alcohol Abuse Hotline Call
Before calling a 24-hour alcoholic hotline, be ready to provide the following information:
- The age of the person who needs treatment.
- Where they live.
- Any other substances they’re abusing besides alcohol.
- How long they’ve been drinking.
- How much they’ve been drinking and how often.
- Any medical or mental health conditions, or physical disabilities.
- Your insurance information.
- Whether you need detox.
Try to be as forthcoming as possible with the alcohol hotline representative. It will help them find the best program options based on your situation.
In addition, you can put together your own list of questions about alcohol rehab, detox, and payment, or any other area you’re concerned about.
Help for Your Addiction Abuse Hotline
Alcohol addiction hotlines are one way to seek help for a drinking problem. Trained professionals can give addicts helpful advice in times of crisis. Hotlines are also helpful for people who need to talk about their addiction problems with someone who understands the nature of the disease. Counseling or therapy through an addiction hotline is one of the first steps to take on the path to a healthier future.
In addition to the 24 hour compassionate addiction counseling services offered through an addiction recovery hotline, recovery treatment centers provide valuable help for those struggling with alcohol dependency. Remember, you don’t have to face recovery alone.
One of the best steps you can take to break the cycle of alcohol abuse is to find a reputable alcohol addiction recovery hotline to help you start on the path to sobriety.
Alcohol Abuse Hotline Numbers
There are various national alcohol abuse hotlines that can provide information, resources, and support to those who are struggling with alcohol abuse.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1(800) 662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s helpline focuses on substance use disorders and mental illness for both those who are suffering and their loved ones.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) 1(800) NCA-CALL (622-2255)
NCADD has a website to educate about alcohol and other drugs, prevention, addiction signs, and treatment. Community-based treatment and prevention organizations that are affiliated with NCADD are available across the country and NCADD provides referals. Search online for the organization located closest to you.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids 1(855) DRUGFRE (855-378-4373)
This organization has information about prevention, substance abuse signs and symptoms, and treatment.
Boys Town works to assist children, families, and communities dealing with addiction, among other issues. The helpline provides callers with advice and assists with finding resources.
This network of local crisis centers provides support to those who are experiencing suicidal crisis or other emotional distress, as well as prevention information, and crisis resources.
- National Runaway Safeline (NRS) 1(800) RUNAWAY (786-2929)
NRS helps young people who have run away, are homeless, or are otherwise at-risk.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Frequently Asked Questions.
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Alcohol Use Disorder.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Fact Sheets-Binge Drinking.
You are never too old to improve your health and quality of life!