Find Drug Addiction Help with 2 minute drill

This tool is for anyone who answers inquiry calls for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction when the caller cannot afford treatment.  Rather than providing “empty” referrals to county-funded programs (with waiting lists upwards of a month), and/or to 12-step programs (with little, if any, instruction on how to work such a program), this brief intervention provides enough information for people to actually get started in recovery, and offers quick drug addiction help. Once the usual referrals to county-funded programs and to 12-step meetings are provided, please provide the following additional information…

Two-Minute Drill

Instruct the caller to:

  1. Grab a pen and piece of paper so you can provide them additional instructions.
  2. Ask if they are willing to go to a meeting tonight or tomorrow and provide them a referral to a particular meeting (all personnel who answer the phones should have a meeting directory handy.)


These are the additional instructions for the caller to write down:

  • Go to the meeting
  • Get a meeting directory at the meeting
  • Use the directory to plan the next week of meetings (go to meetings every day – or to at least 4 to 5 weekly.)
  • Make at least one phone call daily (get a phone list and also phone numbers of people you meet at the meetings)
  • Purchase a “Big Book” – the basic text of the meeting you attend (read a little every night.)
  • Get a “welcome chip” at the meeting when they offer it
  • Share at a meeting as soon a possible (introduce yourself to the meeting stating you are new and need help staying sober.)


Be sure to provide a detox warning: that discontinuing certain drugs including, but not limited to, alcohol, benzodiazapines, barbiturates, GHB, and some of the newer designer drugs can be fatal if not under the care of a physician.  If they are considering discontinuing such drugs, they should present to an emergency room if withdrawal symptoms appear.

(Please distribute to all intake staff if you find this helpful – Download a printable version here.)

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