If you have a drinking problem, you are not alone!
Call us for free, confidential guidance on what you can do.
Call 1-888-497-6879 for help with drinking.
Our free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week helpline is here to assist you.
Over 1.3 million people receive treatment for alcohol problems each year.
Are you ready for alcohol help? No one wants to stay addicted. More here on calling an alcohol helpline and the steps you go through. We’ll cover:
- Who you talk to on a helpline
- What you can expect to talk about
- How confidentiality works
- What happens before & after the call
We answer all these questions in the article below. Then, we invite your questions about calling an alcohol hotline at the end of the page.
Do I need Alcohol addiction help?
Having doubts about whether you have a problem with alcohol, or not? You are not alone! Many people question their drinking patterns. But the first step towards breaking through a possible state of denial is paying a close attention to your behavior and getting honest with yourself.
If you notice the following changes, you should probably look for professional help. These are the most common signs and symptoms that represent problem drinking patterns:
- Constant feelings of regret about your lack of control over alcohol.
- Drinking despite physical/social/financial problems.
- The inability to stop drinking once you’ve started.
- The need for larger amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect.
- The presence of withdrawal symptoms once you stop or cut down on drinking.
- Rearranging lifestyle around drinking.
- Strong urges to drink while abstaining from or cutting back on alcohol.
If you’re still wondering what to do…take a short quiz offered by doctors. The GAGE questionnaire is a useful screening tool designed to help you measure the severity of your drinking. If you are not convinced you have an accurate insight into your drinking habits use these 4 (four) questions for self-evaluation:
- Have you ever thought you should Cut down your alcohol use?
- Have you ever felt Annoyed when people have commented about your drinking?
- Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your drinking?
- Have you ever used alcohol to Ease withdrawal symptoms, or to avoid feeling low after using?
If you scored 1, there is a 75% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 2, there is an 85% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 3, there is a 99% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
If you scored 4, there is a 100% chance you’re addicted to alcohol.
Top 5 alcohol help and recovery Hotlines
ALCOHOL HOTLINE#1: Call a toll-free Alcohol Helpline on 1-888-675-1820 to find a high-quality alcohol addiction treatment program. This helpline is accessible 24/7 and gives you the chance to speak with trusted treatment consultants who can help you find an alcohol recovery program suited to your individual needs.
ALCOHOL HOTLINE#2: SAMHSA’s Treatment Referral Routing Service 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). This Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about alcohol prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish. You can also request printed materials or free publications from the service. This hotline receives about 500K per year and is funded by the National Institutes of Health – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
ALCOHOL HOTLINE#3: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services 212-870-3400. Calling this hotline will connect you with a volunteer who has been asked to share his personal experience, strength, and hope with you. A.A. created the 12 Step program model and offers new members a decades old recovery process from alcoholism and a peer support network. You can also get information about local A.A. meetings, sponsors, and free literature/publications when you call this number.
ALCOHOL HOTLINE#4: The Al-Anon & Alateen crisis line 1-800-356-9996 provides help for people who are the relatives and friends of a problem drinker. Call this hotline if you are looking to support someone with a drinking problem and to get information about how/why enabling is so destructive. This 12 Step program will challenge how you see the issue of alcoholism…and help you live a free and happy life.
ALCOHOL HOTLINE#5: Each state usually operates its own substance abuse hotlines, including alcohol-specific call centers. Check your state’s Department of Health and Social Services website, or call their main line for more information.
IMPORTANT: If you or someone close to you is having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.
Calling an alcohol Hotline
Making the call to an alcohol hotline can be:
We know this.
But, staying stuck in a position of physical and psychological limbo won’t get you anywhere, either. Alcohol addiction is not a condition that should generally be self-managed. While some people may be able to quit drinking on their own, others can really benefit from expert, clinical advice. This is why it is important to pick up the phone and make the first step towards your recovery.
FAQ 1: What’s the cost of calling an alcohol hotline?
Helplines are usually free of charge. If you decide to call, you won’t have to pay anything about the conversation nor about the information you receive. Alcohol Helplines offer the following services:
- 24/7, 365 days a year availability
- connecting callers with local assistance and support
- providing treatment referral and information service
- transferring callers to state services or other appropriate intake facilities
FAQ 2: Is the conversation being recorded?
Alcohol helplines are confidential. They DO NOT collect any personal information. They may only ask for your zip code or other geographic information in order to accurately identify the local resources appropriate for your needs.
FAQ 3: Who am I speaking with?
Those who answer on helplines are friendly, understanding, and supportive. They will guide you towards rehabilitation, as well as explain to you the latest types of addiction treatment options available.
FAQ 4: What does a typical conversation look like?
The discussion usually includes speaking about:
- the severity of your drinking problem (dosages, amounts, frequency, drinking history)
- signs of alcohol addiction
- other drugs that you’re using (or not)
- treatment options (inpatient vs. outpatient programs)
- your financial situation
You can also ask the operator questions you have about the length of treatment, cost, health insurance coverage, types of therapies offered, and facility amenities.
When to Call 911 for a Drinking Overdose
If you or a friend is showing signs of alcohol overdose, CALL 911 FOR HELP!
It is important to report possible symptoms of overdose such as:
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Pale skin
- Unconscious and can’t be awakened
This makes the call a priority. Then, provide your exact location. Tell the 911 dispatcher exactly where you are (Ex. in the back yard, on the 2nd floor, in the bathroom).
When the paramedics arrive, tell them what you know about alcohol consumption: dose, administration, or mixing substances. Alcohol intoxication can be reversed with the timely administration of a medication called “Fomepizole”, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ethylene glycol poisoning. Plus, many states have implement immunity laws that make calling 911 for overdose legally safe for you or a loved one.
What happens after an alcohol Hotline call?
Alcohol helplines exist to give you direction and information about where to look for help about your addiction issues. They primarily exist to provide you with basic resources and recovery options.
After you hang up the phone, it is best to make a firm decision about treatment. Are you ready to change your life? If so, inpatient rehab centers are highly recommended in cases of moderate to severe alcoholism. Inpatient clinics not only address physical issues surrounding drinking, but also the psycho-emotional issues behind addiction.
Generally, there are two follow up scenarios to the process:
- Staff can drive or fly to accompany you directly to rehab.
- You’ll check-in the residential treatment you’ve chosen by yourself.
When you arrive at the facility you’ll be check in and answer several questions about your health, your drinking, and family histories. The intake protocol varies according to the policy of the residential treatment itself. However, after this procedure you can expect and assessment and evaluation which usually last from 1-2 hours. During the evaluation, doctors and the rest of the trained medical staff will gather information about your physical and mental health. ou may also be asked to submit a urine or blood sample. All normal. Data is required in order to make an individual program tailored to your specific needs.
Alcohol addiction is a brain disease that ends up taking control over your life, therefore inpatient treatment centers are highly recommended if you want to achieve long term sobriety and toquit alcohol for good. Evidence-based programs include two treatment modalities: medications in combination with behavioral treatments. Moreover, alcohol rehabs teach you about healthy habits and lifestyle WITHOUT DRINKING.
You’ll learn how and why drinking was a temporary escape from problems and life crises. Further, one-on-one and/or group counselling sessions are extremely beneficial at helping you work on the psychological issues behind your alcohol dependence. Try to envision rehab as a pull back from all the noise and troubles in your life and a time to turn the attention to yourself. Do not forget that with a little time and effort things can back to normal again.
Calling an alcohol Hotline for an addicted loved one
If your friend or loved one is facing drinking problems, alcohol hotlines can help. Helplines can give you the essentials about how to approach, deal with, and support your addicted loved one to seek treatment. In order to get all the necessary information you need to assist a friend who’s having drinking problems you need to be prepared in advanced before making the important call. Here are some information helpline staff may ask you:
- How long the alcohol addiction has been going on? (amounts and frequency of use)
- Does the person abuse other substances in combination with alcohol?
- Does the loved one suffer from any behavioral or other co-occurring disorders?
- What type of health insurance do they have?
- Does their health insurance cover treatment at HMO or PPO insurance rehab centers?
- How much can they afford to pay for treatment?
- Could you (and/or other close family members) help them out financially?
Call an alcohol Helpline now
Sometimes it takes just one conversation to make a HUGE change for the better. One phone call can give you strength and encouragement to leave your drinking habits for good. Why waste a second?
For any additional questions, please CALL the number listed on the top of our page or comment in the designated section below.