Alcoholism Hotline & Alcohol Abuse Information

Authored by National Rehab Hotline    Reviewed by Robert Gerchalk    Last Updated: September 8th, 2021


Robert Gerchalk Medical Reviewer
Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

You or someone you love and care for might find yourself waking up in the morning with a feeling of dread, wondering what happened the night before. Employers may offer “one last warning” over your drinking and how it has affected your workplace performance. You may have a DUI/DWI or other trouble with law enforcement, your spouse or partner may be leaving you, you may not be able to see your children, or you just realize that you will have to stop drinking. These examples are but a scratch on the surface of what a problem with alcohol looks like. You might be uncertain if you have alcohol use disorder, or you might be reading this as a family member, friend, or coworker seeing the signs of trouble and looking for ways to help. No matter your circumstances, it should be comforting to know that help is available, and nobody has to walk through this alone. Call The National Rehab Hotline at 866-210-1303 anytime, and someone will be there to assist you.

What to Expect From Our Alcohol Hotline

When you call The National Rehab Hotline, you can expect:

• No Judgement
• Confidentiality
• Anonymity
• Assistance geared toward options in your geographic area or in farther reaching areas on a case-by-case basis
• Help in determining which program is preferable, such as inpatient (you stay for a few days or longer at a treatment center or hospital) or outpatient (you receive services up to several times weekly, but go home each evening.)
• Guidance about the symptoms of a serious drinking problem

Money is a topic that frequently arises in conversation about treatment. Rest assured that the call to The National Rehab Hotline is free of charge. Our only aim is to be of assistance. We can also help you determine if the treatment options you’re interested in are covered by your health insurance provider. If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of alcohol dependency and addiction, we’re here to provide answers and assistance.

Alcoholism Symptoms

It’s imperative to recognize that you have a problem before you can look for solutions. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers a short questionnaire that can bring to light whether a problem with alcohol exists or not. This survey should be completed by the person who thinks they may have a problem as they will be better able to answer the questions honestly.

Regardless if you are the one questioning your own drinking or if you are close to the problem drinker, when it comes to alcohol and substance use disorder, two main factors are important to consider. There are both physical and mental components to addiction, and these two factors often help explain why the problem drinker has bouts of stopping only to start drinking again within days, weeks or months. In some cases, the problem drinker may stay dry for years only to wind up drinking yet again.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches about understanding the physical and mental components of addiction. The Alcoholics Anonymous founding members state, “If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably an alcoholic.” Upon reading the word “alcoholic,” you may be angry or have trouble admitting to yourself that you have a problem. Relax. Nobody can call you an alcoholic; that is something each person must decide for themselves based upon their experience and what alcoholism is.

Note: while many people have got help and stayed sober in A.A., some do not like this spiritual, 12-step approach. We may also be able to help you find a treatment option that also uses other methods.

Withdrawal

Some drinkers can stop consuming alcohol and not endure any withdrawal symptoms. Others are not as fortunate. This depends on the quantity of alcohol one has consumed and over how long of a period of time. Each individual’s body chemistry plays a role, of course. What should not be ignored is the serious nature of alcohol detoxification.

The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:

• Increased heart rate or blood pressure
• Shaking, also known as tremors, commonly found in the hands
• Increased sweating
Seizures
• Seeing or hearing things that are not present
• Delirium tremens, which can include hallucinations, disorientation, confusion and fever

If you are experiencing a medical emergency and reside in the United States, call 911 to get immediate help.

Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal, so it’s important to know the symptoms and speak with people who can help. You may be “on the fence” about how serious your drinking problem is. Maybe you don’t know if you will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you quit drinking now. You can call The National Rehab Hotline at 866-210-1303 and speak with one of our representatives. Remember, it is better to err on the side of caution.

Recovery

You have determined that you have a problem with alcohol. You’ve made a call to The National Rehab Hotline to learn about local treatment options, and you are on your way to recovery. What now?

Depending upon your situation, it could be that you are referred to an outpatient or inpatient treatment center, or you might have a referral to a local recovery fellowship. These are just a few possibilities.

Regardless of the route you take, it’s important to understand what happens next. What is life in recovery from alcohol use disorder like? In one word: freedom.

Being in bondage to alcohol can make life unbearable. Now, in recovery, you can begin to experience a new freedom. The original and best-known recovery organization is Alcoholics Anonymous. You can also consider: (All have websites you can check out)
Young People in A.A. (Younger A.A. members, welcomes all substances usually, very active in many areas)
Narcotics Anonymous (Many groups welcome alcoholics, as well as those who used both alcohol and drugs.)
Smart Recovery (a different, common-sense approach)
Alcoholics Victorious (Christian-based recovery)
Dharma Recovery/Refuge Recovery (Non 12-step, mediation-based recovery for alcohol and drugs)

Given that AA is the most popular support group for those with a drinking problem, there are many members of this worldwide fellowship who can offer fellowship along your recovery journey. You might first encounter support groups in the inpatient or outpatient treatment center where you start rehab. Most of these treatment options work in cooperation with recovery fellowships such as A.A . and the others listed above. You should be appointed a counselor who will work one-on-one with you. It will be through this relationship that suggestions will be given as to where you can go for help while you continue treatment and then, most importantly, once you leave the treatment setting. Most inpatient settings introduce patients to recovery meetings while there. Outpatient settings generally bring this element of recovery to the patient in the group or individual settings.

Common Alcoholism Questions

Our hotline consultants are trained to respond to various inquiries that come through their lines. They also have access to resources if they aren’t positive about an answer, so no question about alcohol use and abuse is off-limits for a hotline operator. Examples of questions you may have include:

• Am I drinking too much?
• How do I tell if my friend or family member is drinking too much?
• If I want to stop drinking but can’t, what can I do?
• Does my insurance cover treatment for alcohol use disorder?
• Are there any good rehab programs near me?
• How do I talk to the young people in my life about drinking?
• I’m afraid to tell my parents that I started drinking because I’m a minor. What can I do?
• My friend stole money from her parents to buy alcohol. I’m worried, but I don’t know what to do. Can you help me?
• What are the signs of an overdose?

When someone has started to drink excessively, he or she may feel ashamed. If this individual has successfully quit drinking in the past but has now re-started, he or she may feel doubly ashamed about the behavior. A hotline consultant is a neutral person who will answer your questions without judgment or emotions. He or she can steer you toward the correct resources you need regardless of the type of alcohol problem you have. If you also struggle with drugs or mental health issues, the operator can also provide you with resources for those challenges.

How Much Does It Cost?

A call to our anonymous alcoholic hotline is free and so is Alcoholics Anonymous. Most of the resources the operator provides will also be free. If further medical or mental health treatment is needed, the operator can help you figure out if your insurance covers treatment or how to find out this important information. The operators at The National Rehab Hotline are available right now and every hour of the day to ensure that your call is answered. Remember, the number is 866-210-1303.

Importance of Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Untreated alcohol use disorder can have devastating consequences. Billions of dollars in the United States are spent every year to combat and treat alcohol addiction. Many more millions are spent on the alcohol itself.

The economic side effects of an addiction can be devastating, but excessive alcohol use can lead to other problems as well. In 2016, there were 3 million deaths worldwide attributed to alcohol consumption. That is almost 6% of all deaths. Just in the United States (2020), there were 95,000 deaths and 210,000 emergency room visits due to excessive drinking.

Death by alcohol consumption comes in a variety of ways. Excessive drinking can cause liver and kidney problems and other health issues such as diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. There are also deaths caused by drinking and driving. Also included in the statistics are infant and child deaths caused by parents who neglect or abuse their children due to excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol is also, unfortunately, a leading factor in suicide. Often people become depressed when they drink all time, or the mental problems they already have get worse. This is especially true in older people.

If you or your loved one is suffering from an alcohol problem, be encouraged that treatment is available. Alcohol addictions have been successfully treated for years. Treatment often consists of a combination of medications, behavioral therapy, and counseling. Many health insurance policies even cover the cost of rehab.

By calling The National Rehab Hotline, you will receive targeted local responses to your questions. This is a great way to find out what types of resources are available in your local area. The call is free, and no identifying information will be recorded. Your questions and responses will remain confidential.

People may be fearful to call a hotline because they are afraid of legal retribution following whatever information they provide to the operator. Rest assured that the operator is not going to share your information with anyone.* All questions and responses are treated with a high level of confidentiality, so you can feel free to call at any time. Call us today at 866-210-1303. It’s a decision you won’t regret.

*People taking calls may have to try to get help if there is immediate danger of harm to self (suicide) or others, or a vulnerable person, such as a child, is in immediate danger.

The National Rehab Hotline is free and available 24/7/365 to help anyone struggling through a substance use or mental health crisis get immediate help.

 

Our crisis hotline specialists can provide resourceful information about alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health, and what the next steps for yourself or your loved one might be. This may include treatment suggestions, immediate crisis support & intervention, or we can guide you towards local resources