Drug and Alcohol Detox Hotlines
What Is a Detox Hotline?
To struggle with substance addiction can be an isolating experience. Addiction may lead to an individual being separated from their healthy relationships; conflicts arising between the addict and their supports; and the user feeling lonely, confused, and discourage with nowhere to turn.1,7 Fortunately, there is always a caring and concerned outlet for those that want to take an active role in their addiction recovery: a detoxification (detox) hotline.
Detox hotlines are telephone numbers that provide information and support that individuals need specifically related to detox and treatment. A detox hotline can offer multiple treatment options based on the person’s needs, location, and resources. Typically, calling these hotlines is free and they are staffed 24/7.
Who Are Detox Hotlines for?
People often assume that detox hotlines are only for those struggling with addiction or withdrawal symptoms directly. However, detox hotlines are also for loved ones supporting someone dealing with substance use problems. Some detox hotlines, like the one staffed by American Addiction Centers, regularly provide information and assistance to both people struggling and their loved ones. Having a friend or family member afflicted by addiction can be upsetting and challenging to deal with, so speaking with someone can provide valuable feedback and direction on detox and other aspects of addiction treatment.
What Happens When You Call a Drug Detox Hotline?
When you call a detox hotline, you can expect to be connected with a caring individual ready to provide you with information about your addiction as well as actionable steps you or the person you love can take to get help. They will ask a few questions to gain a better understanding of the situation, current physical and mental health state, and symptoms of the individual in a compassionate and nonjudgmental way to boost comfort and reduce apprehension.
Detox hotlines are anonymous, so you do not have to disclose any personal or identifying information. The goal of a detox hotline is not to increase shame or guilt—it is to increase access to treatment. With that said, if you trying to find a local detox center or have questions about any of the following topics, a detox hotline would be a great resource for you:
When Should I Call an Addiction Hotline Number?
These people may believe that they could never benefit from calling a hotline, but in reality, anyone affected by addiction should consider calling, especially if you or your loved one is displaying signs or experiencing symptoms of addiction like:1,2
- The substance is consumed at larger amounts for longer periods of time than planned or recommended.
- The person feels distressed or uncomfortable when the substance is not available.
- There are attempts to reduce or quit with limited success.
- A significant amount of time is committed to finding or using the substance, as well as recovering from its effects
- The person has strong desires (cravings) to abuse the substances.
- Drug use and addiction has made it difficult or impossible for the person to consistently maintain responsibilities at work, home, or school.
- Social supports and relationships are compromised.
- There has been a reduced interest in previously enjoyed hobbies.
- Substance use continues despite risk to the person’s physical, mental, or social health.
Remember, a person does not need to exhibit every item listed to need help. Exhibiting as few as 2 of the above symptoms or behaviors within a 12-month period could signify that substance use has become problematic.2
Addiction is complex and complicated, and it leaves people feeling confused and frustrated. Calling a detox hotline can add clarity and confidence regarding your next steps towards starting treatment.
Detox hotlines are trusted resources, but they cannot provide emergency care. If addiction and substance use has led to a medically or mentally dangerous situation, call 911.
Getting Ready to Call a Detox Hotline
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:
- The substance(s) you or your loved one are using.
- How much you use and how long you’ve been using substances.
- Your overall physical and mental health.
Questions to Ask a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Hotline
But this is also a chance for you to ask any questions you have. Questions to consider include:
- Do you offer evidence-based treatments?
- What are my treatment options?
- What happens during treatment?
- How long will treatment take?
- Is there a treatment center near me?
- How soon can I start treatment?
- How can I help my loved one?
- Do you accept my insurance?
- What if I don’t have insurance?
Another way you can get ready to call a detox hotline is to have all your insurance information handy. You can also easily start this process online by filling out the form below.
Drug and Alcohol Detox Options
In the most general terms, detox is the body’s ability to process and remove toxins. Professional detox is a set of interventions used to safely and comfortably assist an individual while alcohol and other drugs leave the body.3,4
Medically assisted or medically supervised detox involves a team of medical professionals evaluating, observing, and treating symptoms by administering medications, if necessary, to reduce the effects of acute withdrawal.4-6 Since these effects can be dangerous and sometimes life-threatening, depending on the substance, detox helps ensure the security and well-being of the person beginning recovery.
Detox hotlines can help place people in touch with facilities where qualified treatment professionals will determine which detox option is the best fit. Ultimately, the appropriate detox setting, level of intensity, and duration will be determined by factors like:
- Types of drugs used.
- Frequency, amount, and duration of abuse.
- Available social support.
- Additional medical and psychological conditions.
- Previous attempts at recovery and relapse history.
Drug and Alcohol Detox Settings
Depending on the professional evaluation of the individual’s state, detox will occur at 1 of 5 distinct levels of care including:6
- Medically managed intensive inpatient detoxification: The most intense level that could take place in a psychiatric inpatient center or hospital setting. Here, the individual will receive 24-hour treatment in an acute care setting.
- Medically monitored inpatient detoxification: Occurs in a detox center with 24-hour medical care outside of an acute care setting.
- Clinically managed residential detoxification: Most appropriate for people that require 24-hour support but not constant medical care. This residential setting will employ social detox skills that emphasize caring and compassion over medical intervention.
- Ambulatory detoxification with extended onsite monitoring: Occurs at a facility offering outpatient treatment as well as detox. The individual may receive several hours of treatment daily and then return home.
- Ambulatory detoxification without extended onsite monitoring: Available in a doctor’s office or through a home health care agency. The monitoring and treatment at this lowest level of intensity involves brief appointments at regular intervals.
For many people, detox is only the beginning of their journey toward recovery. After detox, many people find it helpful to attend addiction rehab that addresses both the addiction and any underlying issues that may contribute to the addiction.
Free 24-Hour Addiction Hotline Resources
Below is a list of free hotlines you can call to receive information regarding detox, substance abuse, and mental health treatment:
- American Addiction Centers (AAC):
- SAMHSA: 800-662-4357
- National Suicide Prevention: 800-273-8255
- National Youth Crisis: 800-442-4673
- Boys Town: 800-448-3000
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse: 800-729-6686