Alcohol Hotlines: Phone Numbers Saving Lives 24/7

Last Updated: April 5, 2021

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Alcohol hotlines are special services. They are created specifically for people who are struggling with alcohol abuse. They are also for individuals who are affected by someone else’s drinking problem. Alcohol helplines or hotlines offer hands-on practical and emotional support to those who call, people who find themselves in the midst of an alcohol-related crisis. They also help people who choose to make the call on behalf of a loved one who is struggling with this addiction.
An alcohol hotline’s primary objective is to offer hope and understanding.
In addition to empathy and emotional encouragement, 24-hour alcoholism hotlines also provide important contact information for various detox and rehabilitation centers. These are places where the alcoholic can begin their treatment.

When Should One Call A 24-Hour Alcohol Hotline?

The “right time” to make a phone call to a helpline is when an individual is ready. People who make these calls can be assured that they will receive support and advice from a professional organization. For example, a person struggling with alcohol addiction might come to realize it is time for a change. If this person seeks help by calling a helpline, its staff will be able to refer them to the most appropriate rehab center.
Alcoholics or loved ones severely affected by the alcoholic’s addiction can sometimes find themselves in life-threatening situations. This is NOT the time to call an alcohol hotline. In this case, they should immediately dial 9-1-1 and state their emergency.

National Alcohol Hotlines

National alcohol hotlines provide 24/7 professional services throughout the whole year to those who seek help. Some of the most well-known alcohol helplines in the nation are:

  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
  • National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA): 0800 358 3456
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD): 1 (800) NCA-CALL (622-2255)

What To Expect During A Call To An Alcohol Crisis Hotline?

Once a person dials one of the many alcohol hotlines, a friendly and welcoming voice will greet them. Afterward, an individual will need to explain the purpose of the call. Once the caller passes the initial introduction stage, they will have to answer a set of questions. The questions asked may vary depending on which help or hotline they opt for.

Some of the Most Common Questions may Include:

  • Is the caller struggling with alcoholism currently in a non-life-threatening situation?
  • Can an individual specify what facets of alcohol abuse are present?
  • Can a person elaborate on whether or not there are other factors involved with the addiction (such as an eating disorder, drug addiction or mental health issues)?
  • Is the individual ready to receive professional help and start treatment for their addiction?

Is The Conversation Confidential?

Often, callers are concerned about their privacy, and the confidentiality of the information they share. They also worry about fees they may have to pay for making the call. The majority of anonymous alcohol hotlines provide fully confidential services, and they provide them 24/7, free of charge. The professional staff members who receive the calls are friendly and non-judgmental. They are ready to provide help to anyone who is ready to receive it. This is especially true in the case of an alcohol poisoning hotline, which often deals with people in distress.

Can A Person Start The Alcohol Rehab, Detox, Or Recovery Process At The Time Of The Call?

The answer to this question is an emphatic YES. When an individual calls an alcohol addiction hotline, the main objective of the call is to find a course of treatment. In fact, the staff will try their best to find one that will meet the individual’s unique situation. Basing their recommendations on the caller’s unique situation, the professionals who staff these hotlines strive to find the most appropriate detox and rehab solution. This way, they can best help a person with substance use disorder revert to an alcohol-free life.

Why Should One Call A Hotline?

If someone is struggling with alcohol abuse, make sure to seek professional help. Alcoholism is a destructive addiction on both physical and emotional levels. Furthermore, the disorder does not solely affect the alcoholic but also affects their loved ones.
In many cases, a person’s first step towards an alcohol-free life is the call they make to a helpline. Once an individual has made the call, the professionally trained staff of an alcohol withdrawal hotline will see to providing them the best detox and recovery treatment possible.
However, a person must be open to receiving the help. If they do, it will get they back on the right track. So, don’t hesitate. Get in contact with one of many alcohol hotlines, and talk as soon as possible to a friendly and non-judgmental professional.

Published on: March 9th, 2018

Updated on: April 5th, 2021

About Author

Juliette Siegfried, MPH

Juliette has been working in the health communications field since 1991, when she began working at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Her initial campaigns focused on smoking cessation and cancer prevention. Juliette later moved to the corporate side of health communications, including working at Kaiser Permanente, where she designed interactive computer-based training for health education.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.