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Substance Abuse Hotline

An image of a woman on a Substance Abuse Hotline

A substance abuse hotline is an invaluable resource for those with addictions to alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs.

When you call a drug or alcohol abuse hotline, you can access treatment advisers around the clock, benefiting from confidential conversations and information about addiction and the recovery process.

Before you can initiate your recovery from addiction, you must first admit that you have a problem moderating or controlling substance use. Admitting the existence of an addiction is the first of many steps in a continuous chain of events that comprises addiction recovery.

Next, reaching out for help can accelerate the recovery process. A substance abuse hotline is designed to help people like you overcome initial reservations with recovery and to gain a solid understanding of the different types of treatment on offer to help kick start recovery.

  • Note: addiction and substance abuse hotlines are intended as one link in a chain of services available to those looking to move from addiction into sustained recovery.

What Is the Purpose of a Substance Abuse Hotline?

Substance abuse hotlines are a useful resource for those struggling with addiction.

A hotline connects those not engaging with regular medical care with an addiction professional. These specialists can provide a wealth of information about addiction and recovery. Hotline staff can also make referrals for those in need of urgent medical detoxification or inpatient rehab.

A substance abuse hotline can also serve as a rich seam of information for the loved ones of those with alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) or drug addiction (substance use disorder). Those working at a substance abuse hotline service can refer the family members of those with addictions to local intervention specialists or support groups for the loved ones of those with addictions.

You should not view a substance abuse hotline as a replacement for emergency services like 911. That said, people working for addiction hotlines are typically experienced in dealing with people in crisis.

If you require emergency assistance from the police or medical services, a substance abuse hotline may redirect you as appropriate.

Substance abuse hotline professionals may also put you in contact with domestic violence shelters if required.

Regardless of your reasons for calling a drug and alcohol abuse hotline, you can expect to speak with someone who is supportive, empathetic, and non-judgmental.

What Happens When You Call a Substance Abuse Hotline?

Every substance abuse hotline takes a different approach to the services offered and demographics served, but they share several common characteristics:

  • All conversations are completely confidential.
  • All substance abuse hotlines are willing to provide information on all aspects of addiction and recovery from addiction.
  • All substance abuse hotlines can arrange for anonymous referrals to a variety of services, including inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.

The core objective of hotline workers is to dispense information and non-judgmental assistance to those grappling with addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit narcotics.

You should not expect the substance abuse hotline worker to handle active emergencies or to dispense medical advice. While these workers are deeply knowledgeable about addiction, they are not doctors or qualified medics.

As part of the process of connecting people with addictions with the requisite help, substance abuse hotline workers will ask you a number of questions. Typical examples include:

  1. Do you feel that you are in an emergency situation?
  2. Does your life feel endangered?
  3. Which substance are you using?
  4. Are you using more than one addictive substance?
  5. How often do you abuse substances?
  6. For how long have you been abusing substances?
  7. Do you have any physical health conditions?
  8. Do you have co-occurring mental health issues?
  9. Have you previously engaged with substance abuse treatment?
  10. Are you ready to engage with substance abuse treatment right now?

The purpose of these questions is to ensure you are connected with the most suitable services and interventions. Answer them as honestly and accurately as possible.

Feel free to ask all the questions you have when you call a hotline. Everything you speak about with the hotline worker remains confidential. Ask for advice on any of the following topics:

  • General dangers of substance abuse.
  • Information about addiction.
  • Risks of specific drugs.
  • Options for treatment like medical detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab.
  • Estimate of treatment costs.
  • Insurance coverage for addiction treatment.
  • Availability of drug and alcohol rehabs near you.
  • Information about support groups.
  • Mental health resources and referrals.

How Can You Tell If You Have an Addiction?

Substance use disorders are diagnosed according to the criteria outlined in DSM-5-TR. This is the most current edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by APA (American Psychiatric Association).

These are the diagnostic criteria for addiction:

  1. Consuming more of the substances than planned or using it for longer than intended.
  2. Making unsuccessful attempts to moderate or discontinue use of the substance.
  3. Spending lots of time obtaining, using, and recovering from using the substance.
  4. Experiencing intense cravings for the substance.
  5. Failing to meet personal and professional commitments due to substance use.
  6. Giving up important social and recreational activities because of substance use.
  7. Continuing to use substances although this is causing problems in your closest relationships.
  8. Repeatedly using substances even though it is putting you in danger.
  9. Using substances even when you are aware it is causing or inflaming a health condition, whether physical or mental.
  10. Requiring more of the substance to achieve the same effects as tolerance builds.
  11. Withdrawal symptoms presenting in the absence of the substance.

These criteria can be categorized as follows: impaired control, physical dependence, social problems, and risky use.

Substance use disorder is diagnosed according to the number of criteria present as:

  • Mild: Two to three criteria.
  • Moderate: Four to five criteria.
  • Severe: Six criteria or more.

Addiction Treatment at Drug Rehab Centers

When you’re looking for a drug rehab or alcohol rehab, it is easy to become confused with so many different options available throughout Southern California. Contact Drug Rehab Centers today so we can connect you with the most suitable rehab centers near you.

If you are physically dependent on alcohol or drugs, it is advisable to engage with a medically supervised detox at an accredited detoxification center. This route to recovery gives you access to medications to streamline withdrawal, and you’ll also benefit from continuous clinical and emotional care during the challenging early phase of detox and withdrawal from addictive substances.

Once you have detoxed, you have the following options for ongoing therapy:

  • Inpatient programs (also known as residential rehab)
  • Outpatient programs
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • Virtual rehab (remote treatment via video conferencing)

We can connect you with reputable rehabs offering evidence-based interventions to help you combat substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder.

Either reach out to Drug Rehab Centers online right here or call our substance abuse hotline at 866.559.4256.

Author: Madison

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