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Picking up the phone and calling an addiction hotline can be one of the bravest decisions you make. Talking to a stranger on the phone can be scary and overwhelming. But if you understand HOW we can help and when you should call, perhaps we can make it easier to pick up the phone.

It’s important to know that the people who answer addiction hotlines are people who are themselves in recovery and have personally gone through what you’re going through. They’re also well-trained and confidential and are never there to judge.

Addiction hotlines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are there to offer support, answer questions, and help you find the treatment program that’s right for you or your loved one.

1. An Addiction Hotline Can Provide Information About Recovery Treatment

An addiction hotline is a great way to get information about recovery options. There are recovery centers all over, and pinpointing the right addiction treatment center for you can be daunting. The recovery specialist answering the phone has access to recovery centers in your area and can help you figure out which center may be the right one for your individual needs.

The addiction hotline recovery specialist can also help you find addiction counselors, 12-step groups and suggest many other services, depending on your needs.

If you’re in crisis, figuring out where to go or what to do is just one more task too many. An addiction hotline can point you in the right direction or give you several options to choose from, without any pressure.

2. Someone Who Will Listen

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Even if you have family or friends who support you, talking to someone who has gone through recovery and understands what you’re going through is what you need. Regardless of whether you’re still using, just starting recovery, or in recovery for several months, we’re there to listen.

If you have the urge to drink or use, talking with someone who can relate might help you not take that next drink.

3. Expert Advice

There are times when you just need someone to listen, and there are times when you need help and advice. The experts who answer our phones can help assess your situation and advise you on the next step.

Even if you’ve been in recovery a while, a reminder of the reasons to stay sober, for yourself and your loved ones, may be all you need. And even if you know all the tools not to use or drink, the urge can be greater than all that knowledge. Talking with another person in recovery who’s experienced these urges goes a long way.

4. Calling for a Loved One

If a friend or family member is showing signs of addiction, you may not know where to turn or where to seek help. An addiction hotline can inform you of what to look out for and where to find a recovery program.

A recovery specialist can explain to you what your loved one is going through, explain to you the process of recovery, and what to expect if they enter treatment.

In addition, a hotline specialist can let you know ways you can help yourself. Helping your loved one is important, but finding support for yourself and other family members is important too.

An addiction hotline can help you find an individualized program for your loved one and help him or her get help now. It can also offer support for you and your family.

5. Answer Questions About Addiction

A hotline recovery specialist can answer any questions you might have about addiction. They can also help you identify the signs of addiction and when its the right time to seek help, if you’re not sure.

The signs of addiction can be hard to identify. People who suffer from addiction often don’t understand the full extent of their problem. Loved ones of people who suffer from addiction might not realize how bad the problem is either, especially if they don’t know much about addiction.

When does casual drinking turn into alcoholism? When is it time to seek help? It’s often difficult to know because the process is gradual.

Warning Signs of Addiction

If you suspect addiction, here are some warning signs to consider. Just doing one of these is a good reason to call:

  • Built Up a Tolerance–You need more and more to get the same effect. It used to be that a few drinks got you drunk, and now it’s all night.
  • Can’t Stop Thinking About It–Even when you’re not using, you’re thinking about the next time you can.
  • Can’t Stop Once You Start–Have you ever planned on just having one drink, and found yourself drinking all night anyway? And sometimes even when you planned not to drink, you end up drinking after all. You may have tried to quit, slow down or switch the type of alcohol or drug you use, but nothing’s worked.
  • Living On The Edge–When you’re drinking or using, you end up doing things you never thought you’d do, and then often regret. Some of these risks may include, driving under the influence, having unprotected sex, calling or texting people and saying things you later regret, or sharing needles. You may black out and not even remember these events.
  • The Withdrawal is Too Much–You’ve tried quitting, but end up with the shakes, anxiety, nausea or vomiting, or depression. You may act out in anger, even if you don’t mean to. You’re using drugs or alcohol to cope with stress, boredom, loneliness, or grief. Life is too much to handle without using.
  • Stopped Doing Things–You choose to use or drink while neglecting the things and people you love. You may have stopped taking care of yourself. You’re withdrawn and you isolate. You may even be neglecting important responsibilities and running out of excuses.
  • Your Friends And Family Are Concerned–You may have had one or more DUIs. You may be having problems at work, missing a lot of work, or are at risk of losing your job. You may be having problems at home or your significant other has threatened to leave. Even with all these things at risk, you are still using.
  • Dishonesty–You may be lying about how much or how often you use. You may even hide alcohol or drugs around the house, or steal in order to keep up your supply. You may be struggling with financial problems and have gotten in over your head.

These are just some of the signs of addiction. It’s not a complete list. And even if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t do all these things,” don’t let that stop you from calling an addiction hotline and talking to an expert.

Talk to Someone Who Can Help

If you, or someone you love, have any of these signs, call an addiction hotline to talk with someone, get answers and learn what to do next. They’ll help you find the right addiction treatment center if that’s what you need, and offer support.

You don’t have to go through this alone.