Teen addiction hotlines recognize that teen drug abuse and teen addiction can impact the rest of a teenager’s life if not addressed and treated promptly. Accordingly, they serve as free and confidential resources for individuals directly experiencing addiction or for their loved ones. Many of these hotlines provide 24/7 service, allowing a teen or their parents to discuss concerns at their convenience. Teen hotlines can also connect teens with resources or rehabilitation centers based on their specific addiction to drugs, alcohol and other addictions like gambling.
How to Use Addiction Hotlines
Substance abuse helplines operate in various ways: some allow teens to speak directly over the phone with helpline staff, others allow individuals to text back and forth with counselors, and still others offer chatting through a computer interface or via email. Teen addiction helplines should only be used in non-emergency situations. In the event of an emergency such as a drug overdose, medical services should be called.
Common Questions Asked by Helpline Staff
Every individual has a unique experience with addiction and may have slightly different questions. Depending on the needs of the caller, the helpline staff’s questions may vary. Nevertheless, some common questions that helpline staff ask include:
- Where is the caller geographically located
- What are the symptoms or signs a teen has recently been exhibiting
- How frequent is the drug use or suspected drug use
- What is the teen’s mental and physical health history
- Is the teen willing and able to enter rehabilitation or another form of addiction treatment
- Does the teen require emergency medical services
Staff members can also answer a wide array of questions that callers may have about addiction. These include, but are not limited to:
- How to identify addictive behaviors in oneself and others
- What treatment options (including outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation facilities) are available in the area
- How to choose the right treatment facility for a teen
- How to further prevent drug use in teens
When to Call a Hotline
Generally, addiction text hotlines and other helplines can be contacted for many reasons. Parents can call if they are unsure whether a teen is abusing drugs or if they have questions about their teen’s addiction. Some teens call when they first realize they have an addiction or if they are reluctant to go to treatment. Hotlines can also provide information to individuals who want to learn more about addiction.
Calling a hotline takes bravery and courage, especially if individuals have been avoiding directly addressing their addiction. Ultimately, hotlines exist to put individuals struggling with addiction and their families into contact with resources that can enable their recovery.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, emergency services should be contacted by dialing 911. For all other non-life-threatening issues, teen-specific hotlines and helplines can be utilized. Some of these hotlines include:
- Teen Line: This hotline is available every day from 6PM-10PM Pacific Standard Time for teenagers to get help for teen addiction.
- 310-855-HOPE (4673)
- 800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336)
- Boys Town Hotline: Teens of any gender identity and parents can call this hotline 24/7 for help with teen addiction.
Overdose hotlines assist anyone who has potentially overdosed on known or unknown substances. In the case of an overdose, it is advisable to first call 911 or the National Poison Control Center. After a person has been stabilized from an overdose, other helplines can put them into contact with resources for recovery.
- The National Poison Control Center: Poison control centers can help identify different poisonous substances that have been ingested (e.g., dangerous household cleaners, drugs and alcohol) and explain how to assist a person until emergency services arrive. The National Poison Control Center is available 24/7.
Additional Addiction Hotlines
Beyond teen-specific addiction hotlines and the National Poison Control Center, additional addiction hotlines exist to provide guidance to individuals in crisis and non-crisis situations. Some of these include:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Individuals can call this hotline if they feel suicidal on account of their addiction or for any other reason. It is available 24/7
- 800-273-TALK (8255)
- The Crisis Text Line: This line can be texted from mobile phones and is available 24/7 to talk about crisis and addiction-related issues
- Text HOME to 741741
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): This helpline is available 24/7 and specializes in both substance abuse issues and mental health conditions in both teens and adults
- Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357)
- SAMHSA’s behavioral health and treatment locator
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.: This helpline is toll-free and available 24/7 to provide information for individuals struggling with alcoholism and/or drug dependence
- 800-NCA-CALL (800-622-2255)
Drug Hotline for Parents & Families
For parents and family members who desire more information about their teen’s addiction, drug hotlines for parents can directly answer questions and provide coaching for specific difficult situations and conversations.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: This helpline is a great resource for family members concerned about their teen’s addiction. It is only available at certain times but they respond within 24 hours.
- Text a Message to 55753
- Send an Email
Mental Health Hotlines
Besides SAMHSA and the National Suicide Prevention helplines, there are many other mental health hotlines that teenagers and their family members can call in the event of a crisis, suicide prevention or struggles with addiction. Some of these include:
- National Institute of Mental Health: This is a resource page whereby individuals who need guidance about mental health conditions can find the best places for treatment or best helplines to address their needs
- Office on Women’s Health: This is also a helpful resource page where individuals struggling with all different types of mental health issues can be directed to the correct helpline or service
Addiction Hotline FAQs
Many teens and family members have reservations about calling an addiction hotline. Because this can be a new experience for some, it helps to have a basic understanding of how addiction hotlines work. Frequently asked questions about addiction hotlines include:
What Happens When I Call?
If a teen or their parent calls a drug addiction hotline, the trained professional on the phone will likely ask for background information about the type of drug addiction, when it began and any other information necessary to best assist the caller. If the helpline is not specifically for addiction, the professional may ask other clarifying information to direct callers to the right resource.
Will I Get in Trouble?
No. Addiction hotlines are confidential both for the caller and the representative. Some information may be collected about the caller’s geographic location, but the goal is to provide callers with as much information or resources as possible. If an individual is worried that their call is not private, they can verify their privacy by asking the specialist if the call is recorded.
How Much Do Hotlines Cost?
While hotlines or helplines provide free drug addiction help, treatment facilities and other resources that they recommend are associated with specific costs. These costs can be discussed in further detail once a teen decides on a facility for their treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Calling an Addiction Hotline?
There are unique benefits associated with each addiction hotline. Many helplines are available 24/7, allowing teenagers to receive assistance at any time of day or night. Helplines can also point teens in the right direction and discuss the necessary steps before enrolling in a treatment facility. Helplines also allow teens or their parents to speak directly to a professional via text, email, or phone call.This can ease the difficulty of researching addiction recovery centers online.
Does your teenager struggle with addiction? Are you unsure of how to help them? Contact Next Generation Village to discuss treatment options for your teen’s addiction. A representative will be happy to discuss costs, how our recovery programs work and any other questions you may have about teen addiction.
Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.