Substance abuse hotlines can be excellent resources for veterans to call when they need addiction help and information. Addiction hotlines are available 24/7, making them a convenient option when veterans may be struggling with a crisis or are ready to seek treatment. Most substance abuse and drug addiction hotlines offer free, confidential assistance about drug and alcohol abuse and treatment programs.
Call our drug and/or alcohol addiction hotline for veterans at 866-930-6641 for more information about substance abuse treatment and options available to veterans.
Table of Contents
- What is a Substance Abuse Hotline?
- Are Substance Abuse Hotlines Free and Confidential?
- What Can I Expect From a Substance Abuse Helpline?
- When Should I Call an Addiction Hotline?
- Can I Talk to Another Veteran Through the Hotline?
- Other Veteran Hotlines & Resources
- Not Ready for a Phone Call?
What is a Substance Abuse Hotline?
A substance abuse hotline is a dedicated phone line for people who are dealing with an addiction. In the case of a veteran hotline, veterans who are struggling with substance abuse or a co-occurring mental health disorder can call the helpline for free. When you call, you’ll likely be connected to a trained information specialist who can assist you with resources, tools, and general help.
Most addiction hotlines are designed to connect those dealing with substance abuse to the proper resources. This might include providing callers with a list of the nearest treatment centers or explaining what treatment options might help their situation to improve. Some substance abuse hotlines may connect veterans with VA community care partners, while others could recommend veteran-specific treatment tracks at private rehab facilities.
Are Substance Abuse Hotlines Free and Confidential?
People may be concerned about the fees associated with seeking help for a substance use disorder. Luckily, many hotlines are free of charge. The purpose of these hotlines is to provide you with the knowledge and resources to determine whether or not addiction treatment is right for you.
Maybe you are concerned about contacting a hotline because of confidentiality matters. It’s understandable if you want to keep your private health concerns to yourself, as HIPAA laws are on your side.1 When you call a 24-hour free veteran hotline, you can count on the conversation being confidential. In fact, you don’t even have to give your name to the phone representative unless you want to. The operator will likely ask for your zip code so they can provide you with a list of treatment providers in your area. Don’t let your worries about confidentiality get in your way of getting the substance abuse treatment you need.
Will the VA Know I Have Called This Helpline?
When you call the addiction hotline, the VA won’t get any notice of your call. As stated above, you don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to, and even if you do, they are not notified.
What Can I Expect From a Substance Abuse Helpline?
Addiction helplines can answer various questions you may have about substance abuse and the recovery process. When you call, a qualified substance abuse representative will answer the phone and assist you. You can tell the representative what substances you are currently struggling with. The helpline representative will talk to you about the different treatment plans that will work specifically for your addiction problem. They will also ask for your zip code so they can populate a list of current providers in your area. If you want to seek treatment in a different location, just let them know, and they will check for rehab centers in that area.
You can also speak to the substance abuse hotline about the substance you’re using and what its effects are. The helpline representative will be able to give you information about what to expect during the withdrawal and detox phase. They also may provide information on co-occurring conditions, particularly disorders common to veterans such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Keep in mind that substance abuse hotlines are no substitute for professional, medical treatment. A helpline can point you in the direction of services and resources, but they do not give therapy over the phone. Also, if you are experiencing a drug- or alcohol-induced emergency, you should call 911 right away.
When Should I Call an Addiction Hotline?
Having a substance abuse hotline available 24/7 is a vital resource. You can pick up the phone and call an addiction hotline any time you want, knowing that your call is private. Here are several reasons you might want to do so:
- Crisis Situation: You may need to talk to someone because you’re facing a crisis in your life and are ready to take the first step toward sobriety. The crisis is driving you forward, and you need the tools to take the first step towards help.
- Help for a Loved One: Maybe it’s not you, but a loved one who needs substance abuse treatment. You might be worried about whether your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol and how you can intervene.
- Answers to Common Drug Questions: The hotline may be able to assist you with common questions about types of drugs and their effects or what the withdrawal timeline is.
- Addiction Questions: You might be wondering if you are addicted to a substance or if you have a tolerance to it.
- Withdrawal Concerns: Knowing what to expect during withdrawal is something that can ease your mind when considering addiction treatment. The representative at the helpline can assist with these questions too.
- Treatment Programs: You may have questions about what the various treatment programs are like and how they differ. You also may want to know what program is best for certain types of addiction issues.
- Detox Facilities: The representative can give you the phone number of detox facilities in your area, so you can get started with treatment.
- What to Expect at Rehab: It’s common to wonder what rehab life will be like. The representative can give you an idea of what to expect while at rehab. Also, they might be able to provide you with a list of items to bring to rehab.
Can I Talk to Another Veteran Through the Hotline?
Certain helplines are dedicated to veterans and are staffed by veterans who answer the phone and provide information to assist you with your treatment options. Many veterans feel more comfortable talking to someone who has been through similar experiences to them. When you call a hotline, don’t be afraid to ask if they have members of the staff who specialize in veterans affairs
Other Veteran Hotlines & Resources
Several hotlines are available for veterans experiencing a crisis. Whether you are dealing with an addiction crisis or something else, veterans have resources that are only a click or phone call away. Some of these include:
- Veteran Crisis Line: This site is for veterans experiencing a crisis of any type. You can call, text, or chat, making it a convenient resource. 1-800-273-8255, option 1.
- Veteran Mental Health: This website has a wealth of resources focused on mental health issues.
- VA Homeless Programs: For veterans who are dealing with homelessness, this website has several links to help.
- Lifeline for Vets: You can talk to a vet when calling 1-888-777-4443. You’ll have a lifeline because the other person understands what you’re going through.
Not Ready for a Phone Call?
If you don’t feel ready to make that phone call to an addiction hotline just yet, you can still explore our treatment centers. Look over the various programs and see what options you have available. Help is here when you are ready.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).