An opioid addiction hotline offers easy access to addiction resources for yourself or a loved one. When you talk to a representative on a drug hotline, they may provide you with various free resources, information, and guidance on getting help for opioid addiction. Representatives at a free and confidential opioid addiction hotline talk to people who struggle with addiction or the loved ones of individuals with addiction to obtain more information about residential and outpatient treatment. Below, we provide details about our hotline, as well as various opioid addiction resources and treatment options available at our Northeast rehab in Massachusetts.
Risk Factors & Signs of Opioid Abuse
Any form of opioid use – even short-term – can lead to addiction. While a person’s family history of addiction and the duration of opioid use play roles in the development of addiction, anyone can become dependent on these drugs. Whether legal or illegal, stolen or prescribed, opioids are responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in the U.S., as well as the ongoing opioid epidemic that began in the late 1990s.
Healthcare professionals define opioid addiction as a chronic disease marked by symptoms like an irresistible craving for these drugs, out-of-control and compulsive use of these drugs, and the continued use of these drugs despite the obvious and repetitive consequences. Opioids are known for being highly addictive, mainly because of their effects on the reward center of the brain.
Opioids, such as morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin, trigger the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals, as well as dopamine. These chemicals muffle the perception of pain and boost feelings of pleasure, creating a temporary but intense sense of euphoria. When this dose wears off, users often find themselves wanting to repeat the experience, causing them to repeatedly use it and increase their risk of physical and psychological dependence.
In response to repeated opioid use, the brain slows its production of endorphins, which means the same dose will no longer produce the same desired effect. This is also known as tolerance. A major cause of opioid addiction is tolerance, as individuals with this problem feel driven to increase their doses so they can keep getting high.
However, because doctors are more strict about writing and increasing opioid prescriptions and doses, many users turn to illegal drugs like heroin or fentanyl. Some illegally obtained drugs, such as fentanyl, are often laced with contaminants that increase the risk of health complications and overdose. Fentanyl abuse has, therefore, been associated with a significant number of deaths in the nation.
Common risk factors of opioid abuse to keep in mind include:
- Chronic pain
- Family history of substance abuse
- Heavy tobacco use
- History of criminal activity or legal problems
- History of severe mental illness
- Personal history of substance abuse
- Prior drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Regular contact with high-risk people or high-risk environments
- Risk-taking or thrill-seeking behavior
- Young age
As a person’s opioid use worsens, their problem may become more evident in their behavior and physical appearance. Typical opioid abuse symptoms include:
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleep habits
- Cravings for opioids
- Decreased libido
- Frequent flu-like symptoms
- Inability to control the use of opioids
- Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
- Isolation from family members or friends
- Lack of hygiene
- New financial difficulties
- Physical dependence
- Stealing from family members, friends, or businesses
- Weight loss
For those who are battling an opioid use disorder, there are plenty of opioid addiction resources and treatment options out there that can make recovery possible.
What Is an Opioid Crisis Hotline?
Opioid helpline numbers are toll-free and confidential phone numbers you can call to get more information about opioid addiction and treatment. These hotlines – most of which operate 24/7 – offer guidance in finding professional care for individuals affected by opioid abuse. These helplines are there for both addicted individuals and their loved ones to receive more information.
The opioid addiction hotline representatives, also known as advisors, have specialized training to properly guide their callers in the right direction in terms of professional addiction treatment. They understand how addiction works and the delicate nature of finding help. Opioid helpline representatives are trained in the appropriate safety protocols so they can offer the best advice and most appropriate information for an individual.
Regardless of the type of substance use disorder you or a loved one is battling, an opioid addiction hotline can guide you in getting the right kind of help. Many opioid hotlines, like the Clearbrook addiction hotline at our Massachusetts rehab, are phone numbers that operate 24/7 and are always confidential. You don’t have to worry about your information being exposed or a breach of your privacy, as our representatives are trained to work confidentially with each caller.
What to Expect When You Call an Opioid Hotline
Representatives at an opiate addiction hotline will answer the phone in a friendly and gentle manner. They are not there to force treatment on anyone but rather help the caller get to the root of the problem and tell them about the steps to take to get help. To best understand your situation, the representative may ask you questions about the duration of substance use, the substance in question, and your living environment, among others.
Your answers will help the representative assess your situation and offer more personalized assistance in choosing the next best steps for you. Remember, the entire conversation remains confidential.
Representatives may recommend addiction treatment options, or they can tell you how to find the right treatment on your own. They may also share the individual and community resources available in your area. The hotline can also provide information like the types of therapy used in treatment, what detox is like, what medications (if any) may be prescribed during treatment, and more.
When you call an opioid addiction hotline, it’s also helpful to be ready to share some information about yourself, such as:
- Current medical conditions (if applicable)
- Mental and physical disabilities (if applicable)
- Whether the addicted individual has co-occurring mental health struggles, like anxiety, ADHD, or depression
- Whether the addicted individual is suicidal or in danger of self-harming or harming others
- Whether the addicted individual wants to receive treatment right now
Questions to Ask an Opiate Hotline
Perhaps you want to pick up the phone and call for opioid help, but you don’t know what to say. Below are some common questions asked in opiate abuse hotlines from people seeking help:
- Can I do this on an outpatient basis?
- How do I know if I am addicted to opioids?
- How long will rehab take?
- What if I have other mental health issues?
- What kinds of treatment options are available for opioid use disorder?
- Will I have to go through detox?
If you’re calling on behalf of a loved one, you can ask these questions:
- How can I help my loved one find a rehab center?
- How long can rehab take?
- What types of treatment options are offered for specific substance abuse disorders?
- Would my loved one benefit from addiction treatment?
How to Help Someone Who Has an Opioid Addiction
Sometimes, individuals with substance use disorders don’t see or understand the extent of their problem and may require a nudge in the direction of treatment. If this is the case for your loved one, here are some steps to help someone with an opioid addiction:
- Educate yourself: Start by gaining a comprehensive understanding of opioid addiction. Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms, the potential consequences, and the available treatment options. Knowledge empowers you to provide informed support.
- Engage in open communication: Approach the individual with empathy and without judgment. Express your concern for their well-being and encourage open, non-confrontational dialogue. Listen actively to their experiences and feelings.
- Recommend professional help: Suggest that the person seek assistance from a healthcare provider specializing in addiction treatment. Medical professionals can evaluate their condition and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as medication-assisted therapy.
- Be informed about treatment: Research available treatment programs, which may include detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, and various forms of behavioral therapy. Discuss these options with the person to help them make informed decisions.
- Emotional support: Opioid addiction is often accompanied by feelings of isolation and despair. Offer emotional support, letting the person know that you are there for them throughout their recovery journey, even in times of relapse.
- Create a supportive environment: Help remove opioid-related paraphernalia from their surroundings to reduce triggers and temptations. Encourage a drug-free, safe environment that supports their recovery.
- Support groups: Suggest participation in support groups or 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous. These groups offer a sense of community and shared experiences that can be invaluable in recovery.
- Overdose awareness: Educate yourself on the signs of opioid overdose and, if necessary, learn how to administer naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. This knowledge can be life-saving.
- Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries and consequences for specific behaviors that enable addiction. Refrain from providing money or resources that could be used to obtain opioids.
- Patience and resilience: Recovery is a journey filled with challenges and potential setbacks. Encourage the person to stay committed to their treatment and emphasize the importance of resilience and patience.
- Self-care: Caring for your emotional and physical well-being is crucial. Supporting someone with addiction can be emotionally draining, and maintaining your health is essential to offer effective support.
- Legal and ethical considerations: Be aware of your legal and ethical responsibilities. In some situations, it may be necessary to involve authorities or medical professionals if the person’s safety is at risk.
If you need further guidance on helping someone with an addiction, calling an opioid help hotline can connect you with specialists who are educated in managing these situations.
Additional Opioid Addiction Resources
In addition to Clearbrook’s opioid abuse hotline, below are some additional resources that can help you or a loved one find addiction treatment.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 877-726-4727
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: The only national hotline designed for those in crisis who prefer texting as a form of communication: text CONNECT to 741741.
Clearbrook Treatment Centers is a leading treatment provider that offers Pennsylvania and Massachusetts substance abuse treatment. Our facility is one of numerous nationwide addiction treatment facilities in the Banyan family.