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Alcohol Abuse Hotline

If you or your loved one are suffering from an alcohol abuse disorder and feel like you need help but don’t know exactly where to start, calling an alcohol addiction hotline may be the right first step. Educated admission navigators may help you with any question you might have, from explaining the treatment process to suggesting possible care options that fit your needs.

What Is an Alcohol Hotline?

An alcohol abuse hotline is a confidential, anonymous, and free helpline which provides resources and guidance to those who may be struggling with alcohol addiction or may have loved ones who need help. They are equipped with supportive operators who are there to answer your questions about alcohol abuse and recovery options.

Admitting that you or your loved one have a problem may not always be easy, so an alcohol abuse helpline may be the first step in your recovery. This way, you can gather information about addiction and treatment options that may suit your needs.

alcoholism hotline number - 21 hour AA hotline

Why Call an Alcohol Addiction Hotline?

There are various reasons why calling an alcohol hotline would be a good idea. Professionals who work there may help you learn what some common signs of addiction are, walk you through your treatment options, and discuss your insurance and payment options.

Admission navigators can help you understand what alcohol abuse treatment entails, explain some of the steps required for recovery, and generally be there to help you share your story in an understanding, non-judgemental way.

Are Alcohol Abuse Hotlines Really Worth It?

Calling an alcoholism hotline can be particularly helpful for people who are dealing with alcohol addiction or have friends or family members who are. They will have an opportunity to talk to trained individuals, receive more information about any treatment questions they may have, and may be referred to an appropriate treatment center.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction That May Indicate Need for Help

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a persistent relapsing brain condition marked by a diminished ability to avoid or control alcohol intake despite detrimental health effects, both physical and mental.1

For a person to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder, they need to meet a number of criteria indicated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Based on the criteria in DSM–5, an individual can get diagnosed with AUD if they meet at least 2 of the 11 criteria over a period of 12 months. The severity of the disorder can vary from mild to moderate and severe.1

AUD is a medical condition that ranges from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers 2 or more of the following questions in a positive way.2 It is important to mention that while an admission navigator may ask you some of these questions, they are not qualified to diagnose you with AUD. Instead, they may refer you to a qualified professional for further consultation.

In the past year, have you:2

  • Ended up drinking more than intended?
  • Wanted or tried to cut down multiple times but failed?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking?
  • Experienced a strong urge to drink?
  • Experiencing personal or professional life troubles because of your drinking problems?
  • Continued drinking despite having personal life troubles because of it?
  • Gave up activities that previously were joyful in order to drink?
  • Gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt?
  • Continued drinking even if it was causing you health problems?
  • Found that you need more drinks in order to achieve the same intoxication effect?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you experienced withdrawal symptoms?

If you experienced any of these symptoms you may need adequate alcohol abuse help. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent is the need for you to seek professional assistance.2

Common Fears & Misconceptions About Calling an Alcohol Helpline

When it comes to addiction helplines, concerns about confidentiality, care, and cost often arise. The National Helpline is a confidential, free, 24/7, 365-day-a-year service, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Users who call a 24-hour AA hotline may need to answer a few personal questions, but these helplines are confidential and will not reveal any personal information.3

However, it is important to emphasize that these helplines do not offer therapy and counseling. Admission navigators will typically connect callers with state programs or other suitable intake centers in their states, as well as local assistance and support.3

What Are Some Free Alcohol Addiction Helplines?

Here are some of the free and anonymous 24-hour addiction helpline numbers you can call if you need information about alcohol abuse or any related issues:

  • Al-Anon and Ala-teen helpline: 800-356-9996 – Adults and adolescents who struggle with alcohol addiction can call this hotline and receive compassionate support and resources for group therapy in their area.4, 5
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline: 1-800-662-4357 – Call this hotline to speak with English and Spanish speaking operators who can refer you to appropriate treatment centers, community-based care, or group therapies.3
  • National Suicide Prevention helpline: 1-800-273-8255 – Offers support and guidance for individuals in crisis to help them handle emotional distress and minimize the risk of suicide.6
  • Boys Town: 1-800-448-3000 – Offers services in more than 140 languages and provides a helpline for those with speech and hearing impairments 1-800-448-1833).7
  • call 855-378-4373 or send a text message to 55753 – Operators offer guidance, assistance, and treatment information to individuals struggling with substance abuse.8


Frequently Asked Questions

  • When interacting with someone who is struggling with addiction, it’s important to be kind and nonjudgmental because the opposite may make them feel judged and humiliated, causing them to close up.9 You should encourage them to seek help, listen to what they have to say, and even try to assist them in finding it.Your loved one struggling with addiction should know that they have your support. They will feel much safer sharing their thoughts and feelings and feel encouraged to seek treatment.9 However, if you’re not sure how to talk to someone struggling with alcohol abuse, you can reach out to an alcoholism hotline and seek guidance from experienced admission navigators.

  • In the United States, alcohol-related problems are among the most serious public health concerns. Many people struggle with alcohol control at some point in their lives. About 17 million people aged 18 and up suffer from AUD, and one out of every ten children lives in a household with a drinking issue.2However, most people who struggle with alcohol use disorders can benefit from some form of treatment.2 One-third of people who go into treatment for AUDs have no symptoms one year later. Others show considerable reduction in their drinking habits and report fewer drinking problems.2

    Figuring out if you or your loved one have an addiction can be difficult and you may not know how to recognize symptoms of alcohol addiction. Therefore, you should consider calling an alcohol abuse hotline in such a situation. Helpline admission navigators may offer guidance and different resources on alcoholism and available treatment and detoxification options.

  • Whether you can start treatment right after calling a free alcoholism hotline may greatly depend on your personal situation and the treatment center you choose. However, contacting an alcohol hotline and asking for information and assistance may be the first step in your recovery and rehabilitation process.After calling a helpline for alcohol abuse, an admission navigator may suggest the most appropriate course of action for you or your loved one.

1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Use Disorder.

2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2014). Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help.

3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2021). National Helpline.

4. Al-Anon Family Groups. Get Connected.

5. Al-Anon Family Groups Teen Corner.

6. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Talk To Someone Now.

7. Boys Town. (2021). Boys Town National Hotline.

8. Partnership to End Addiction. (2021). Get One-on-One Help to Address Your Child’s Substance Use.

9. National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020). Words Matter: Preferred Language for Talking About Addiction.

10. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020). Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder.

11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2021). Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.