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Making the Call: Choosing the Alcohol Addiction Helpline

Yesterday I called an addiction helpline. I don’t know what came over me, but I had nowhere else to turn and it was the only way I knew how to help myself. I’m 17 years old and I started using cocaine three years ago. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t control it anymore and I feel like I need someone to talk to. I am ashamed of my choices and I do not want to talk to my family or my friends. I’m scared that I will get into trouble or they will feel like I’ve let them down or they have let me down. They haven’t. I just made some mistakes. At school they pass around these fliers for a marijuana addiction helpline. So I came home today, locked myself in my room and called the alcohol addiction helpline.

I was startled when someone answered the phone and didn’t sound like an authority figure. He asked me a lot of stuff at first and I thought about hanging up. But I think they’re supposed to ask a certain bunch of questions so they can understand how to help. He never asked me anything that I thought they could use against me in court, so I answered all of them. Even though I lied about my name and where I live, I told the truth about how I started using alcohol and for how long. I told him how my parents got divorced when I was ten, and how they’ve since remarried and started new families. I told him that I started feeling like an outsider and unwelcome, and drugs made me feel happy. Pretty soon I needed the drugs to get through a day at school. The addiction helpline guy at the other end of the phone listened patiently to every story I told, every word I said. And when I paused to hear what he had to say, there was a thoughtful silence before he answered. And he seemed to say just the right things. I really expected that when I called a alcohol addiction helpline they would have a script to follow and just rattle off advice, but it was not the case. This particular alcohol addiction helpline really made me feel like they actually want to listen to people and help them. He even made me trust him so much that I even ended up telling him that I had recently been molested by a family member. He sounded genuinely concerned and gave me another number to call in case I wanted to talk to a specialist in that arena. But even thought that was not his area of expertise, he said some really sound words about it.

This alcohol addiction helpline was put together very well. The guy gave me his name and spoke to me like a human being with genuine care for my life and future. He eased tension by joking around with me and brought me to tears with words that touched my heart. I will never again think twice about calling a alcohol addiction helpline. I don’t think I will use tomorrow morning. And I think I may tell my mom and dad about my problem. We’ll see.

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