The best mental health and substance abuse treatments should be accessible and convenient. By making treatment options easily available, there is a better chance for people to receive the treatment they need to begin recovery.
Florida offers its residents a variety of helpful drug abuse hotlines to diffuse crises, identify the need for treatment and direct people to appropriate services for their situation. Making one call to a Florida drug hotline could start the path toward recovery.
When to Call a Drug Abuse Hotline
Choosing to call a drug abuse hotline may seem like a stressful and life-altering decision, but it doesn’t need to be. Anyone who worries about the negative impact of drugs in their life or the life of their loved ones should feel free to contact a local or nationwide hotline at any time.
Judging the impact of drugs on your life can be challenging. Substance abuse may be a problem if you:
- Use drugs every day
- Need an increasing amount of drugs to produce the desired high
- Spend a lot of your day using and recovering from drug use
- Make unsuccessful attempts to limit or eliminate drug use
- Have strong cravings for drugs
- Keep using drugs even when drugs interfere with your relationships, work or school
- Experience physical health, mental health, legal or financial issues from use
- Feel sick or uncomfortable without drugs
People mistakenly believe that they cannot form a problem with a prescription drug, but that notion is false. Several prescription drugs, like pain pills, sleep aids and medications for anxiety, can spark addiction and physical dependence issues, even when used as recommended by the doctor.
If someone is unsure about their need for a drug abuse hotline, they should consider speaking with a trusted support to get their opinion. Sometimes, a loved one has another point-of-view, which can add clarity.
Seeing the drug abuse issues in a loved one is a separate experience. To identify the need to call a drug hotline for a friend, look for:
- A drastic change in their physical appearance while paying attention to their eyes, skin, weight, and teeth
- Differences in their sleep or energy levels
- A lack of self-care and personal hygiene
- Mood changes with depression, anger, and irritability
- Changing social interactions with isolation or spending time with new people
- Increased lying and secretive action
Anyone concerned about their loved one should also look for signs of drug misuse like empty pill bottles and drug paraphernalia around the house.
What to Expect When You Call
Calling a drug abuse hotline may seem like an intimidating process, but it really does not have to be. Most of the time, a friendly and calm operator will answer the call, ask a few questions, explore possible treatments and make a referral to a service provider.
The entire call may only last a few minutes and will not even involve any exchange of personal information. The hotline representative may ask questions about the person’s:
- Age, gender, and location
- The types of drugs used
- The frequency, intensity, and duration of use
- Co-occurring mental and physical health condition
- Support from family and friends
Each question provides helpful information the operator can use to point the person in the best direction for their needs and situation.
Local Drug Abuse Hotlines
Anyone in Florida who is experiencing a drug crisis can call 2-1-1. By calling this easy-to-remember phone number, a person is linked to a representative who provides assistance and referrals during a crisis. One call can connect someone to a:
- Suicide and crisis hotline
- Rape hotline
- Substance abuse hotline
- Veteran support hotline
- Community resource hotline
Thanks to contact with an interpretation service, people can easily communicate with the local hotline no matter what their language is.
People who are looking for assistance but would prefer to avoid speaking to someone have an option. These people can use the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Get Help tool to locate local services by county. After only a few pieces of information, a person can access the website or phone number of treatment providers close to home.
It can be a struggle to reach out for treatment, but these systems available in Florida make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. The hope is that increasing access to effective substance abuse treatments will encourage more people to get help and achieve the recovery they deserve.
National Drug Abuse and Mental Health Hotlines
Local options for Florida are wonderful, but some people may prefer the added layer of anonymity from a national drug abuse and mental health hotline.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers the SAMHSA treatment locator tool. By navigating to its site, a person can use the behavioral health treatment locator by entering their address or zip code to search available treatment centers by location.
The tool provides the addresses and phone numbers a person will need to follow up with treatment. Better yet, with so many options, a person can explore several centers before deciding on the best one for their needs and symptoms.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) offers a nationwide HOPE LINE number at 1-800-622-2255. Although this is a national hotline, the service directs all calls to local hotlines and treatment centers.
By phoning the hotline and offering fundamental information about the location and desired services, the national representative will connect you to a live person happy to guide your treatment options.
Sadly, many people who frequently abuse drugs experience suicidal thoughts. People undergoing any crisis may call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time.
Someone who is addicted to drugs or having a significant crisis can help the situation by calling 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can even assist the concerned loved ones of someone with an addiction or mental health issue.
Since some people would feel more comfortable texting about their situation, the Lifeline also offers a web-based text option. This option is a wonderful choice for younger people seeking help.
Substance use disorders and addictions are mental health issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recognizes this fact and offers its NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-6264. Staff only answer this number on weekdays until 6PM, so it may not be the best option for all people.
Someone needing more assistance can text “NAMI” to 741-741. This text service offers 24-hour crisis support from NAMI by connecting the person to a crisis counselor.
With about 7,500 families assisted in 2018 alone, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Helpline is another useful option. With three ways to contact a specialist, the process could not be simpler or more convenient.
A person can:
- Text a specialist at 55753
- Email a specialist through the site
- Call a specialist at 1-855-378-4373
The email and text options may not be best for people having an immediate crisis as there might be some waiting. In these situations, it will be best to have a 24-hour hotline as a backup.
Local Support Groups
National and local hotlines provide an instant contact person to help manage the concerns of addiction and drug abuse. Sometimes a person needs another form of assistance.
Support groups offer a tremendous amount of assistance during recovery, especially for people who respond well to that face-to-face compassion and care that support groups offer. The chances are good that numerous support groups are available in your area and include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an organization that started in the United States before spreading around the world. AA uses a 12-step process to help people end their alcohol use. These support groups are ideal for people with alcoholism, but some meetings will gladly welcome people abusing other drugs as well. Search for AA in your area to find meeting places and times convenient for you.
- Narcotics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) takes the foundation of AA and applies the principles to people using other drugs. NA meetings may not be as widely-accessible as AA, but many options are likely available close to home. The NA website even offers a Find a Meeting tool to search for meetings in your area.
- SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery is another support group option that is fundamentally different from 12-step programs. This type of group, available online and in-person, helps people maintain motivation, cope with cravings, manage thoughts and live a balanced life. Lists of meetings are accessible on the group’s website.
Remember, support groups are not professional drug abuse treatments. Without the guidance of treatment professionals, support groups are better additions to other treatments, rather than replacements.
Contact The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health to speak with a representative about how professional addiction treatment can help. You deserve a healthier future, call today.
Get Smart About Drugs. “Signs of Drug Use.” April 13, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2019.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs.” January 2016. Accessed September 8, 2019.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery 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.