How Anonymous Is an Addiction Helpline?

Substance abuse is an issue that affects individuals and families across the globe. Substance abuse impacts individuals across age, culture, gender, and socioeconomic areas, so those who struggle with this are not alone. Use of alcohol and drugs can quickly go from controlled to addictive, making it difficult for users to admit to the hold that these substances may have over them. With over 70,000 deaths as a result of an overdose occurring in the United States in 2017, substance use and abuse concerns are far-reaching and can include health issues, mental health concerns, employment loss, legal issues, and familial problems.

Physical consequences of prolonged substance use can include loss of memory and attention and a significant impact on the liver and heart. Other battles that result from prolonged drug and alcohol use can include family conflict, job loss, legal problems, and housing issues. Adolescents can struggle with substance use, therefore parents may need to be aware of signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol use, such as changes in behavior and physical signs such as red-rimmed eyes or changes in sleeping or eating. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, reaching out to a substance abuse hotline, a link to help, can put you on the path to recovery and happier and healthier life.

The substance abuse hotline is free, available 24 hours a day, and is staffed by individuals who are well-trained and knowledgeable about substance use, addiction, and drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Any and all information disclosed by a caller is protected by the Health Information Portability Act (HIPAA), outlining guidelines for confidentiality and the protection of your or a family member’s private health information. A professional, knowledgeable individual will help to inform and guide you to the treatment options available. The best treatment is individualized; no single substance abuse treatment is effective for every individual and treatment type may vary based on what substance is being abused. As such, making the call for assistance is crucial. Other information dissimilated during the call to the helpline may include:

• Individual health insurance coverage and requirements for treatment.
• Differences between inpatient or outpatient care
• Treatments that can benefit those with co-occurring disorders, such as mental health concerns, such as depression or Bipolar disorder, which may occur alongside substance abuse as a form of self-medication
• Compassion and understanding from well-trained and experienced individuals, many who have personal experience with drug and alcohol abuse and understand the strength it takes to reach out for help
• Referrals to effective and professional treatment centers

Although substance abuse treatment is an area that is required to be covered by health insurance according to US law, each insurance provider has different coverage requirements, copayment responsibilities, treatment time frame guidelines, and geographical requirements. The Substance Abuse Hotline staff are prepared to understand these factors and share information so that callers can make an informed decision for care. Although inpatient care may be most effective for treatment, as the individuals have the opportunity to focus solely on treatment, free from the daily responsibilities of life, this option may not be best for everybody. Outpatient treatment may be better geared for some individuals. Many times, substance use issues are compounded by mental health issues and some treatment centers are better prepared to help those with more complex issues. Hotline professionals understand substance abuse treatment, insurance complexities, and the impact that co-occurring disorders may have on substance abuse treatment.

Reaching out for help can be difficult, but the hotline professionals are ready to provide information and support. To prepare for the call, the following information, although kept confidential, can assist the hotline professional to identify the best options for each individual:

• The age and gender of the individuals seeking treatment
• Location
• Information regarding any health conditions, mental health conditions or physical limitations that may impact treatment
• Insurance information
• Substance(s) used
• Length of use and frequency of use

It is important to be open and honest about the issues so that you or your loved one can start on the best path to recovery. Remember, only the most necessary information will be collected and all information will be handled in a sympathetic, safe and confidential manner.

A better life is around the corner. You are not alone. Take the first step and reach out for an individualized and compassionate plan of treatment for yourself or your loved one. Information will remain confidential. Although drug and alcohol abuse can negatively impact all aspects of a life, seeking caring, professional, and effective treatment for substance use can assist you or someone you love to make changes and turn life around. Physical and mental health, along with relationships can improve, financial strains can be reduced, and life can be lived free from the stronghold of alcohol and drugs. Make the call to 800-411-8019 now!

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