National Drug Abuse Hotline Numbers: Free Addiction Help 24/7

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

People with addiction compulsively seek and use illicit substances. Accepting there is a problem and beginning treatment for substance abuse is a challenging task. Before entering formal drug rehab, many people with substance use disorder (SUD) benefit from intervention help for free. A drug addiction help hotline is a toll-free number that provides information about substance abuse. Recovering people with substance use disorder and their families can obtain information about addiction and guidance on treatment. Are calls to free hotline numbers confidential? Read on to find out more about getting addiction help on the phone.

Table of Contents

What is the Number for a National Addiction Hotline?

Here’s a list of resources for people seeking information on addiction treatment and substance abuse. These are national abuse hotline numbers that operate nationwide.

Drug Addiction Hotline Number

  • SAMHSA national hotline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) offers information on addiction and free referral services in English and Spanish 24 hours a day.
  • Helpline number 1-800-487-4889 is available to people with hearing impairment for information on substance abuse 24 hours a day.
  • The Partnership for a Drug-Free America runs a drug hotline for parents 1-855-DRUG-FREE (378-4373) during business hours.
  • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hope Line 1-800-NCA-CALL (622-2255) for assistance with affiliate programs nationwide.

Overdose Hotline

  • People with SUD in emergency situations should call 911 in the United States. This number is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A free phone counseling hotline is not equipped to deal with emergencies.
  • The National Poison Control Center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222 for free, confidential information from experts on poisons including drug and alcohol overdose.
  • 1-800-999-9999 is a National Directory of drug abuse hotline numbers and crisis intervention centers.

Mental Health Disorder Helplines

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be called on 1-800-273-TALK (8255) around-the-clock by individuals with suicidal ideation.
  • The National Mental Health Association’s number 1-800-969-6642 is available during business hours for questions about mental health issues.
  • The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at 1-847-831-3438 (not toll-free) is available during business hours.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) available during business hours for questions on mental health issues and treatment options.

24 Hour Alcohol Abuse Hotline

  • Alcohol hotline number 1-800-331-2900
  • Drug and alcohol abuse helpline 1-888-506-0699
  • Alcoholics Anonymous helpline by zip code

Drug Abuse Hotline for Families

  • Al-Anon and Alateen crisis line 1-800-356-9996
  • Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
  • National Runaway Safeline 1-800-RUNAWAY

Helplines for Specific Drugs

  • 1-800-COCAINE
  • 1-800-9-HEROIN
  • 1-888-MARIJUA

A phone call can change your life. Pick up the telephone and make that call to a helpline and start addiction treatment without delay.

US State-Specific Addiction Helplines

What is a Substance Abuse Hotline?

A drug help hotline is a telephone number that people can call and get free information about addiction and treatment for substance abuse. Individuals who are addicted to illicit substances, prescription medications, or alcohol can get comprehensive information on all types of resources for recovery from substance abuse, including addiction treatment programs and local rehab facilities. Family and friends can call a helpline to learn about the signs of substance abuse in a loved one. The helpline also provides information on nearby inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Addiction hotline free phone numbers are usually manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained volunteers and employees. Representatives who handle helpline calls are knowledgeable and helpful. Callers to an addiction helpline are provided support without reprimand or judgment. Calls to helpline numbers are anonymous to maintain confidentiality. Calling a helpline is the first positive step towards recovery for many people with SUD.

Reasons for Calling an Addiction Hotline

Calling an addiction recovery hotline can provide immediate access to support and advice from a trained counselor without waiting to make an appointment or go to a clinic. The services of an addiction helpline are free and confidential. Besides useful information, the caller can benefit from clarity of through and gain a sense of control over the situation. Here are some reasons why a person with an addiction problem should pick up the phone and make that call to a helpline:

  • To obtain information about the signs and symptoms of addiction.
  • To learn about the dangers of substance abuse.
  • To talk to experts at a drug overdose hotline.
  • To discuss local rehabilitation and recovery programs.
  • To ask questions about insurance coverage.
  • To get psychological counseling and emotional support.
  • To seek help for a friend or family member.
  • To access information on addiction prevention.

When a person calls a helpline number, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The services are usually free, and the caller can benefit from talking to trained counselors about addiction treatment.

Can You Get into Trouble for Calling a Drug Helpline?

Many recovering people with SUD have concerns about calling a drug hotline. However, there is no reason to be afraid of calling an addiction helpline. Here are answers to some common questions:

  • Is it free to call an abuse hotline number? Most of the time, a helpline for recovering people with SUD is free and offers 24/7 help to people experiencing problems with substance abuse. Toll-free numbers offer information and crisis support completely free of charge. Numbers that are not toll-free may invite the cost of the phone call. Most numbers are available 24×7, although some have specific working hours. Many helpline numbers offer multilingual services.
  • Is the person who calls abuse hotlines obliged to perform certain actions? Calling a hotline places no obligation on the caller. Trained counselors answer questions and provide guidance without forcing involuntary treatment. Callers do not have to make a commitment to enter drug rehab after making the call.
  • Can a person go to jail for calling an addiction helpline? No, calling an addiction helpline will not land a person in the criminal justice system. Rather, not getting help for substance abuse can result in all kinds of troubles, including crime, losing custody of children, and ending up in jail.
  • Is the phone call to an addiction helpline number confidential? Yes, the advice is free and 100 percent confidential. Callers remain anonymous and do not need to provide personal information to the counselor.

What to Expect a When You Call a 24 Hour Addiction Helpline

Making a call to an addiction or abuse helpline is the first step on the road to recovery. Many people with SUD feel overwhelmed and afraid and wonder what kind of questions will be asked at a 24-hour free counseling hotline. Here’s what a helpline representative might ask:

  • Are you in a life-threatening situation?
  • What specific illicit substances do you use?
  • How long have you been using illegal substances?
  • How frequently do you use illicit drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you have co-existing mental health problems or other health issues?
  • Have you disclosed your substance abuse to friends and family?
  • Are you ready to start treatment for addiction?
  • Have you previously been to rehab?

The decision to seek help for substance abuse is a critical one. The counseling offered by a drug or alcohol hotline can prove extremely valuable in a person’s recovery.

How to Call a Drug and Alcohol Hotline?

Calling a toll-free drug hotline number is an excellent way to start on the journey to recovery from substance abuse. These helpline numbers provide knowledge, support, and resources to recovering people with SUD at any time of the day. Here’s a step-by-step guide to calling an addiction helpline:

Step 1: Find out the appropriate number to call. If overdose is suspected or there is some other emergency, call 911 immediately. If it is not an emergency, remember, certain hotline numbers deal with specific types of abuse. If one is addicted to opioid painkillers, they may need to call a prescription drug abuse hotline. For the parents or carers of a teenager who is struggling with substance abuse, the most appropriate number to call may be a teen drug abuse hotline.

Step 2: Have a list of questions written down. It can be overwhelming to talk to a representative at a 24-hour counseling hotline about addiction, which is a deeply personal matter. A list will help remember to ask the helpline rep the most important questions.

Step 3: When calling the number, most probably an automated greeting will answer. Select the appropriate options (language, location, etc.) so that your call is routed to the most appropriate helpline representative.

Step 4: Speak clearly with the counselor and answer all questions honestly. Here’s a list of possible questions one can ask a substance abuse helpline representative:

  • What are the inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment options available to me?
  • How long with detox, withdrawal, and rehabilitation for addiction take?
  • How much will the rehab cost?
  • Are there rehabilitation facilities close to me?
  • Will my insurance pay for addiction treatment?
  • How can I find a reputable rehab center in my area?
  • What are the free substance abuse recovery resources in my area?
  • How can I help a loved one with addiction problems?

Find the Help

If one is battling substance abuse and addiction, call our free helpline (888)-459-5511 for more information on local hotlines. Advisors are available to answer your questions on free drug abuse counseling, give information on a drug crisis hotline in your area, and guide towards long-term recovery from addiction. Calls are always confidential and secure.


Page Sources

  1. Sunstance Abuse and Menatl Health Services Administration. SAMHSA’s National Helpline.
  2. National Allience on Mental Illness. NAMI HelpLine.
  3. Boys Town. Boys Town Hotline.

Published on: August 18th, 2016

Updated on: June 3rd, 2020

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


Leave a comment

  • Laura Jasper
    First of all I have a little over three years clean and I had a relapse two days ago. I didn’t see it coming. One minute my sobriety was fine and the next I was smoking meth. I have been having some severe depression issues as my husband has dementia and is now in diapers and doing some really bizarre things in the bathroom so I am feeling trapped and found myself barely unable to get off the couch. I just had this thought that hey I can use it once and get my house cleaned and then stop. I was a mess. I only used part of what I had and ended up getting rid of the rest. The biggest problem is my kids noticed. I was so obviously high. Now they talked to my mom who is also scared because I have put them all through so much. I haven’t been going to meetings. Was in school but took the summer off. I needed a break and also to take care of my husband. I need some advice. I have no insurance and I’ve been in school two years trying to get my degree in addiction studies. I just can’t do this to any of us again. The kids are seventeen and eighteen but I have spent so much of their lives high that they are terrified of losing me again and I can’t put them through this. I also had two surgeries in the last nine months putting me on pain pills so that was yet another struggle. I have to be careful about the ‘world’ other than my family finding out I relapsed but I’m fifty two years old and need to finish school so I can help others with addiction problems but that won’t work if they know I used. Please can you give me some advice? In fact, please don’t mention this to anyone locally or all the education I’ve worked so hard for will be for nothing. I would try to get somewhere if it’s not too terribly much out of pocket but maybe I need a ‘time out ‘ from this overbearing drama I call my life. I don’t have a lot of money but this is important enough to try and borrow some from my sister or someone I trust.
    • Michelle Burke
      Laura- First I want to emphasize that this is just another hurdle. You can get through this. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your family. That’s a good start. also know that just because you relapsed does not mean that you can no longer be in recovery support. I am two years clean off of prescription meds. I am now a Peer recovery support specialist with y local CSB. I teach a recovery Class in my local jail. I still have daily struggles with my recovery even two years later. That’s completely normal. What we have to do is to build up our tools or arsenal of support and personal coping skills in order to stay clean. I can empathize with your situation. Most of the time a person that is a caregiver is so focused on the care of another they forget about taking care of themselves. Which is key to being able to care for someone else. If we don’t take care of ourselves how do we care for another person? Maybe a “time out” for yourself would be beneficial to you. You may try to get into a treatment facility. Do you have insurance? If not sometimes your local CSB will sponsor you to get inpatient treatment. Also look into other options in your community such as NA, support groups, recovery counseling. I know my local CSB offers AccuDetox, which is an acupuncture based treatment that uses 5 acupuncture pins in each ear on key points to help with depression, anxiety and cravings. It really helps, I have utilized this myself and I find it very calming. Also, we live in the age of technology. Ge on the web and look for online support. You seem like you are very articulate and intelligent. Maybe whole getting support for yourself you can help someone else n their recovery. Also getting a sponsor through NA could help. You should not worry s about being found out. You would be surprised of the people who are in different stages in their recovery. From all walks of life. i.e. Doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. Addiction does not care about social status, color, age, religious beliefs etc. It affects many people you would never think. Take care of yourself, and in turn you can better care for your family. I’m going to give you my email: burke_michelle76 on yahoo.