Alcohol & Drug Detox Hotlines

This page will discuss:

  • What alcohol and drug addiction hotlines are and who can call in.
  • If you should call a hotline and the symptoms of addiction.
  • What treatment options are like at River Oaks.
  • Free addiction hotline options to call.

Handling an addiction can be difficult, which is why hotlines for those struggling are so important.

Dealing with the side effects of drug or alcohol abuse is painful and isolating. Family and friends may lose their trust in a loved one who continues to drink or use and often pull away when they don’t know how to help. Alcohol and drug hotlines can help.

If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, call 911, not a hotline.

What Are Alcohol and Drug Hotlines?

Even though addiction is a disease, many people still feel ashamed to admit that they struggle with substance use. A hotline is a good way to discuss your concerns without having to disclose any identifiable information, allowing you to stay completely anonymous.

Addiction has the potential to interfere with all areas of your life, including your health, social life, ability to function at work or school, and role in the family.1

However, your addiction impacts loved ones in ways that you may not even realize. Hotlines are open to not only those who struggle with addiction, but to their loved ones as well.

substance abuse hotline workers answering calls

When you call an addiction hotline number, you will be connected with an advisor. Helplines are often staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to ensure that you can get in touch with someone whenever you need it.

Should You Call an Addiction Hotline?

If you are considering this question, it couldn’t hurt to call a substance abuse hotline. If you or someone you love is affected by addiction, it might also be the right time to call in to a drug or alcohol hotline.

If you aren’t sure if addiction is the issue, there are some signs that could point to an addiction, such as:2, 3, 4, 5

  • Always needing money.
  • Suddenly changing social circles.
  • Difficulty accomplishing duties at school, work, or home because of substance use.
  • Dramatic behavioral changes.
  • Experiencing cravings.
  • Having symptoms of withdrawal when use is stopped or cut back.
  • Loss of control over the amount or length of time you use drugs or drink.
  • Missing time from school or work.
  • Mood swings.
  • Needing more of a substance to get the same effect.
  • Not paying as much attention to personal hygiene.
  • Quitting or cutting back on work, social, or leisure activities due to substance use.
  • Pulling back from hobbies and family events that interfere with substance use.
  • Relapses, even after periods of sobriety.
  • Sleeping more or less than usual.
  • Taking a lot of time to obtain, use, or recover from the effects of substances.
  • Using even after it has caused or worsened problems in relationships.
  • Using even when it has caused a physical or mental problem or made it worse.
  • Wanting to cut back or quit but being unsuccessful.
  • Weight changes.

While helplines are extremely useful, they are not intended to provide assistance in the event of an emergency. In the event of a medically or psychiatrically dangerous situation, call 911 immediately.

River Oaks’ Treatment Options

If you’re considering treatment or know of someone with a substance use disorder and want more information about treatment, you can reach out to River Oaks’ Admissions Navigators at .

American Addiction Centers, River Oaks’ parent company, staffs its helpline with compassionate individuals, many of whom have gone through treatment and are in recovery.

Navigators will ask questions about your:

  • Substance use.
  • Physical health.
  • Mental health.

They’ll also ask about your preferences to determine what type of treatment facilities would best meet your individual needs.

Addiction treatment takes many different forms. No one form of treatment works for every person. Rather, treatment should be tailored to the needs of each person to be most effective.1


For many, treatment may start with detox. This rids your body of alcohol and/or drugs. It can be an unpleasant experience, and withdrawal from some substances can even be life-threatening.1 In medically supervised detox, available at River Oaks, a doctor provides medication to keep you safe while you withdraw from substances.1, 4

River Oaks detox offers EarlySense technology, which is used to monitor patients’ vital signs as they sleep and will notify staff members of changes that could indicate the need for medical attention.

If a detox facility does not also offer inpatient treatment following detox, staff will help you transition to another treatment facility for further care once you are discharged.6 Intensive or residential treatment facilities offer longer stays.

Inpatient/Intensive or Residential Rehab

After detoxing, you will transition to the next stage of treatment. If you’ve chosen River Oaks, the next step can be within the same facility.

Residential programs allow nursing staff to provide ongoing care while mental health staff members offer counseling in group and individual settings.6

Outpatient Treatment

There are 3 levels of outpatient treatment, depending on your need:

  • Partial hospitalization (PHP). This is the most intensive program, where you will attend about 6 hours of treatment daily, 5 days a week.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP). IOP is less intensive; you’ll attend sessions for 3 hours daily, 3 times a week.3
  • Outpatient treatment. This is the least intensive form of treatment and can be tailored to meet your needs, often decreasing in intensity as you progress in treatment.

Our 90-day Guarantee

River Oaks is confident in the treatment that we provide. You’ll stay clean and sober after completing our 90-day treatment program, or we’ll provide you with an additional 30 days of complimentary treatment. Terms and conditions do apply.

Research has demonstrated that participating in treatment for 90 days or longer positively influences a person’s ability to stay clean and sober.1

Programs for Everyone

River Oaks makes every effort to accommodate the needs of every person we care for. While we provide specialized programming to meet the unique needs of certain groups, we also works to foster an inclusive environment that doesn’t separate anyone based on their identification with a specific group or characteristic.10

Rather than focusing on differences, clients can see what they have in common and relate to each other, becoming stronger as a cohesive group.10 Some groups do focus on the specific needs of women, men, the elderly, young adults, first responders, LGBTQ+, and trauma survivors.10

Addressing Co-occurring Disorders in Treatment

If you have more than one mental health disorder—such as a substance use disorder and depression or anxiety—you have what is known as co-occurring disorders, also referred to as dual diagnosis or comorbidity. Around 60% of people with a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.1 A 2018 U.S. survey estimated that about 9.2 million adults have a dual diagnosis.7

For treatment to be most effective, a program should address each co-occurring disorder at the same time.1 6, 7 A good treatment plan should include counseling for substance use, counseling for your mental health disorder(s), and medication management as needed.1, 6, 7

man standing and talking to a group in therapy

Mental health counseling almost always includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which you will learn more about your diagnosis, triggers, coping skills, and thought patterns, all of which can also apply to your substance use.6, 7 And while not everyone needs medication, in some instances, and depending on the drug of choice, it can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms for many people.1, 6, 7

The best treatment plan is one in which you get to collaborate. Talk to your treatment team about your needs, concerns, and preferences. Your input is valuable; ultimately, it’s your recovery.

Free Drug Addiction Hotline Options

If you’re not ready yet to seek treatment, but you are interested in discussing your concerns confidentially with someone you can trust, there are many more hotlines that are available 24/7 at no cost to you. All of the organizations below provide help, many at any time of day.

  • SAMHSA: 1-800-662-4357. This is free, confidential guidance available 24/7, in either English or Spanish.
  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255. Although “suicide” is in the name of the organization, anyone can call in to discuss any emotional turmoil, including but not limited to substance abuse and mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and sexual identity.
  • Boys Town: 800-448-3000. With a translation service that caters to over 140 language, Boys Town is available via phone, or text message—just send VOICE to 20121. Like National Suicide Prevention, you can discuss any hardships with Boys Town.
  • IMAlive chatline. If you’d rather not have a phone conversation about your problems or questions, you can reach a trained volunteer online through IMAlive.
  • Lines for Live: 1-800-273-8255. You can also text “273TALK” to 839863. This is geared towards those suffering from addiction, both active duty military and veterans, the elderly, and youth. However, anyone can use their services.

Learn More About Addiction Treatment


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018).Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (3rd edition).
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Step by step guides to finding treatment for drug use disorders.
  4. 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.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2019). Mental health and substance use disorders.
  6. 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.
  7. National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2019). Dual diagnosis.
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