Heroin help hotlines are anonymous and confidential phone lines that offer 24/7 assistance to people who struggle with heroin abuse, as well as those who have loved ones struggling with heroin abuse.
When you dial a heroin hotline number, you can expect to be greeted by a friendly, trained, and professional drug abuse hotline representative who will hold a free, confidential, and conducive conversation with you.
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Whether you’re experiencing a moment of crisis or a moment of clarity about the severity of your heroin use, your first step forward in a battle against heroin addiction could be calling a heroin addiction hotline. These hotlines are also available to friends and family of people with various SUDs.1
Regardless of relatively low heroin use in the general population, the number of users in the U.S. has been rising since 2007. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted in 2016, about 948,000 US citizens used heroin in the past year. The number of individuals that meet the criteria for heroin use disorder grew from 214,000 in 2002 to 626,000 in 2016.2
Even though heroin use was historically predominant in urban areas, suburban and rural communities have been reporting increasing numbers of heroin overdose deaths. A significant increase is seen in people aged 18-25. Individuals in this age group seeking treatment for heroin use more than doubled – from 11% of admissions in 2008 to 26% in the first half of 2012.2
Over 28% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2019 involved heroin.3
A heroin addiction hotline number is an anonymous, confidential phone line offering free, 24-hour heroin addiction help to people looking for treatment, or their friends and family members who want to help them start treatment.4
Hotline representatives are there to provide support, advice, guidance, or additional information on drug addiction and recovery. They can direct callers toward other local resources, and inform them about treatment options, including outpatient or inpatient heroin treatment programs.4
If you’re calling because you’re concerned about a loved one, you might be unsure about signs of heroin use. Even if you’re the one seeking help for heroin addiction, you still might not have all the necessary information about the drug you’re having issues with, and the dangers associated with it. The most frequent questions you should get answers to when calling the addiction hotline for heroin abuse include:5
Loss of control over heroin use qualifies as an addiction. Addicted individuals compulsively seek out the drug and use it regularly despite the negative impact on their lives or other social, physical, psychological, or financial consequences. As someone starts building tolerance to heroin, they require more of it and become dependent on the drug. If they reduce the dose or try to stop using it, they will go through quite unpleasant withdrawal.6
The addicted person may exhibit both visible physical signs of heroin use, as well as behavioral ones. The most common ones are:5, 7, 8
Heroin is a powerful, highly addictive opioid. After the initial pleasurable effects, users generally become drowsy for several hours, and their mental function gets clouded. Since it causes slow, shallow breathing, an overdose can lead to coma or death.3 The heart function can slow down severely, enough to be life-threatening. This can also lead to coma and lasting changes in brain function.9
Repeated heroin use can create permanent changes in the physical structure of the brain as well as long-term neuronal and hormonal imbalances. This increases the risk of mental health issues and developing co-occurring mental disorders.10 It also produces physical dependence – as the body adapts to the presence of the drug, abrupt reduction or discontinuation of use leads to intense withdrawal symptoms.11
Long-term use is also tied to an increased risk of infectious disease transmission, particularly when taken intravenously.12 This usually happens through contact with infected blood that results from the sharing of syringes.13
However, the consequences of heroin use extend far beyond the individual user. This is a wider social problem that leads to crime, violence, as well as various complications in the family, workplace, or educational environments.13
Heroin helplines provide guidance and referrals to treatment-seeking individuals.14 To find out about your local options, contact your insurance provider or the SAMHSA helpline. They can refer you to your state office responsible for state-funded treatment programs, or private facilities in your area.14
Most health insurance policies cover at least part of the cost of heroin addiction treatment. However, this will depend on the type of policy you have. There are government programs that subsidize the cost of heroin treatment. Some programs promote recovery among young adults and adolescents, while others aim to provide help to pregnant women struggling with heroin abuse.15
There are also private treatment centers that make rehab more affordable by offering deferred payment plans, sliding fee scales, or by accepting Medicare or Medicaid. Contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities. You can also talk to admission navigators at rehab facilities who can offer information about the type of treatment you might need and possible costs.14
Even though hotline representatives are well educated in the field of SUD and the safety protocols related to heroin and other drug use, you shouldn’t use a hotline number in case of emergency. If you or someone in your presence is showing symptoms of a heroin overdose you should dial 911 to get immediate help.16
An increasing number of people are experiencing negative health effects that transpire from repeated heroin use.17 If you’re one of them, the 24-hour heroin helpline can help you determine the severity of your addiction and suggest the type of treatment appropriate for your specific needs. They can provide you with general information about heroin addiction, answer questions about different treatment options, and offer advice on what next step you could take. They can connect you with someone who knows how to help you further, or with a rehab facility if you’re ready to start treatment.18
The heroin addiction recovery hotline is not an emergency line. If you suspect a heroin overdose you need to call 911 for immediate assistance.16
Yes, heroin abuse hotlines are free and confidential and any information you choose to share can’t be used without your permission. Talking to a hotline representative doesn’t mean that you commit to rehab or any other type of treatment. Calling a heroin addiction hotline is secure and anonymous. The only personal information callers may be asked to provide would be to check insurance coverage, find the nearest local resources, or make treatment suggestions. The information you provide, if you choose to do so, can’t be collected or disclosed to any third parties.14
You can talk about whatever you’d like during your call. A qualified helpline advisor will listen to your story, evaluate your situation, and guide you through different options. However, to provide you with the best assistance, they may ask you some questions to learn more about your situation. These questions might be about:5
Free heroin addiction hotlines are available on a 24-hour basis to provide information, resources, and support to people struggling with heroin abuse.
For referrals to treatment programs, call 1-800-662-HELP, or visit SAMHSA’s treatment locator to get information on state-licensed providers who specialize in treating SUDs, addiction, and mental illness.27
Information and referral resources in your community are also available on National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): 1-800-NCA-CALL (622-2255).28
Additionally, NIDA’s Step-by-Step Treatment Guides can help you get clear information about what to do if you or someone you know has problems with drugs.29