Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline Guide
Substance abuse hotlines are anonymous ways to discuss a person’s substance abuse and get help with the addiction.
It may be difficult to admit you have a drug or alcohol addiction—because of your substance use, you may feel shame, frustration, or hopeless. Alcohol and drugs can get in the way of relationships, which can lead to feelings of isolation, and make it hard to discuss your problems with those around you. You may even worry about how to get sober on your own.
This article will address:
- What alcohol and drug hotlines are.
- When you should call a hotline.
- What your treatment options are at an Oxford Treatment Center.
- Free hotline options.
The Purpose of an Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline
You may not feel comfortable talking about addiction with people face to face, and that’s fine. Addiction is often stigmatized, and you may be worried that others will judge you. That’s why alcohol and drug hotlines provide information and help and don’t ask for any identifying information.
Hotlines are usually staffed 24 hours a day, year-round, often by people who have gone through treatment for their own addiction in the past.
You can expect to be asked questions about your addiction, physical health, and mental health. You’ll likely receive information about the kinds of treatment options available.
Support for Loved Ones of Addicts
Addiction is a complicated disease that can affect just about every part of your life. Substance use also takes a toll on the people around you, such as your family, significant others, friends, and even coworkers.1
Hotlines are also available to help support loved ones of people who are suffering from addiction. When someone you care about is living with an addiction, it can have a huge impact on your life as well.
You may feel worried, upset, frustrated, angry, or even blame yourself. These are all normal feelings and a hotline can put you in touch with resources to help you learn how to cope with these emotions. Hotline staff members can also advise how to best support your loved one as they go through the process of entering treatment.
When to Call a Drug and Alcohol Hotline
How do you know when to call a hotline? If you think you or a loved one is addicted, you should consider calling a hotline. It doesn’t cost anything to call and is completely anonymous.
If you aren’t sure if you or a loved one is addicted, hotline staff can help you determine if addiction could be the problem. Some signs that could indicate addiction include:2, 3, 4
- Changes in behavior.
- Consuming more of the substance or for a longer time than planned.
- Continuing to use after it causes problems at school, work, and home.
- Continuing to use even after it has caused or worsened a physical or mental problem.
- Cutting back or quitting things that get in the way of drinking or using.
- Defensiveness when asked about substance use.
- Developing a tolerance.
- Drinking or using alone.
- Drinking or using in dangerous situations, like driving.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
- Lack of attention to personal appearance.
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the substance.
- Strong cravings.
- Substance use is getting in the way of school, work, or home responsibilities.
- Trying to cut down or stop unsuccessfully.
- Using substances daily to function normally.
- Wanting to stop drinking or using but not being able to.
- Weight loss.
Hotlines are a trusted source for information and support, along with linkage to resources to meet your needs. Hotlines are not equipped to provide emergency care. If you are in a mental or physical emergency due to substance use, please call 911 immediately.
Treatment Options with Oxford Treatment Center
Addiction is a chronic disease. Although it is not curable, you can treat and manage addiction with proper care.5
Oxford Treatment Center may be the right choice for treatment for you. You can reach our admissions navigators at any time via our hotline at . It’s free and confidential.
Read on to learn about the types of treatment available for substance use disorders.
The first step toward recovery for some is attending detox, where your body will be able to flush itself of any alcohol and/or drugs that you have been using.1
Many facilities, like Oxford Treatment Center, offer medically managed withdrawal, where medications are used to lessen the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol and other substances.1, 3
During this stage of treatment, medical staff is available 24/7 to monitor and provide medications to ease you through symptoms of withdrawal, while counseling staff members provide education and some counseling.3, 5, 6
At Oxford Treatment Center, detox amenities include semi-private rooms with private bathrooms and around-the-clock supervision by a team of doctors and nurses. All beds are equipped with EarlySense technology, which monitors your vitals while you sleep in order to notify the medical staff if there are any changes that can be potentially dangerous.
This setting is strongly recommended for people who may experience severe withdrawal symptoms, have had complications during withdrawal in the past, or have co-occurring physical or mental health disorders that could affect their withdrawal, since it allows staff to provide monitoring and care around the clock.3, 5
Inpatient or Residential Treatment
Some facilities like Oxford Treatment Center also provide inpatient treatment after detox, which makes the transition to the next stage of treatment smoother. Other facilities that only offer detox services will often link you to another facility for further care.5, 6
Residential treatment provides less intensive medical monitoring, and more intensive therapeutic counseling by mental health staff. Treatment is provided in both group and individual settings to help you learn skills and discuss issues that may need to be addressed.1
Outpatient treatment does not require you to live at the treatment facility, making it a little less restrictive when it comes to your job or going to school.1
Therapy in outpatient settings is provided in both individual and group settings to help you learn how to maintain sobriety once you have completed your treatment.1
Oxford Treatment Centers offer outpatient services at varying levels based on your needs, ranging from intensive outpatient, which includes more time in therapy, to less intensive services.
When attending outpatient treatment, it’s important to have a strong sober support system—like your family and friends—to help you avoid substances when you’re not in treatment. You’re also encouraged to attend self-help meetings.1, 6
Oxford’s 90-Day Promise
Oxford Treatment Centers offer all participants a 90-Day Promise. This means that if you successfully complete our 90-day treatment program, we guarantee that you’ll stay clean and sober, or we will provide 30 additional complimentary days of treatment. Terms and conditions may apply.
Studies show that staying in treatment for a minimum of 90 days has better outcomes on long-term sobriety than shorter lengths of time in treatment.1
Treatment for a Range of Needs
Oxford Treatment Center understands that there are diverse groups that have unique needs while in treatment. Our facility offers a specialized treatment track that cater to the specific recovery needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.
In addition, complementary and alternative treatment methods are integrated into treatment whenever possible. These can include equine therapy, art therapy, music therapy, yoga, mindfulness meditation, ropes courses, exercise, and the opportunity to spend time in nature.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
People with addictions are frequently diagnosed with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.1, 6 When this happens, it’s referred to as a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder.
Since disorders can affect the one another, it’s important to treat both at the same time to reduce the risk of relapse.1, 6
Dual diagnosis care includes the elements of addiction treatment explained above, but can involve the following aspects as well, including:
- Education: Learning about your mental health is important because it helps you understand your diagnosis. Some people may not have realized that they were experiencing symptoms at all, while others may not know that substance use can have an impact on symptoms. If you have been experiencing symptoms, you might have been drinking or using drugs to self-medicate.6 For others, substance use can lead to mental health issues such as psychosis or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Symptom management: Therapy can help you learn about what triggers your symptoms and what kind of coping skills work best for you in different situations.6 This can make it easier to manage your symptoms and reduce the impact they have on your ability to function. It can also make it easier to handle life without using alcohol or drugs.
- Medication management: In some cases, it may be necessary to take medication to manage your symptoms.1, 6 If your symptoms are severe, difficult to control with coping skills alone, or interfere with your ability to function, you may want to consider taking medication to help you control them effectively.1 p12 Additionally, if symptoms are making it difficult to maintain sobriety, medication can be a helpful tool in your recovery.5, 6
Free Addiction Hotline Resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357. You can expect free and confidential information 24/7 from SAMHSA. You can also request a Spanish speaker.
- National Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255. Anyone in emotional distress can call this hotline for free, confidential, emotion support. You can reach them 24/7, and talk about anything from substance abuse and mental and physical illness to suicidal thoughts and sexual identity.
- Boys Town: at 800-448-3000. You can also reach them via text: send VOICE to 20121. Boy’s Town can be reach from 12pm to 12am CST. They have translation services for over 140 languages, and you can discuss any issues that are weighing on you.
- IMAlive chatline. Here you can connect with a trained volunteer online. For those who are nervous to call and talk to someone, this might be a better option. Please see their website to access the chat option.
- Lines for Life at 800-273-8255 or text ‘273TALK’ to 839863. This service targets a few different groups such as people dealing with addiction, active duty military and veterans, the elderly, youth, and their families. However, services are open to anyone looking to talk about substance abuse and/or suicide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018).Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (3rd edition).
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2014). What is substance abuse treatment? A booklet for families. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4126. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- S. National Library of Medicine. (2019). Substance use disorder.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment approaches for drug addiction.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.