Sometimes, just talking to someone about your struggles can be immensely helpful. A food addiction hotline, staffed with trained, empathetic individuals, can be a great place to start and find the kind of support that can help you get on the path to recovery.
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Hotlines to Help With Food Addiction
Food addicts and food addictions are often misunderstood. If you’re dealing with these issues, it may be difficult to speak honestly with people about them or to seek treatment that may be helpful.
The following hotlines may be able to help or start you in the right direction.
One of the most relevant numbers if you’re struggling with food addiction is the NEDA Helpline, run by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). 
NEDA is a well-reputed eating disorder hotline that provides a number of useful resources to those looking to recover from conditions such as binge eating disorder, compulsive eating, and more. It is also an organization that works to train and recruit people interested in providing evidence-based help and treatment options for those in need.
This helpline is an informational resource available at 1-800-931-2237 or by text at 1-800-931-2237. You will talk to a trained volunteer who will provide you with support and give you information relevant to your behavioral health conditions and physical health needs.
This hotline isn’t available 24/7, but they are available for a significant portion of most weekdays and can take messages if you’re not sure where to start. Their website should have more up-to-date information about their hours.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
If you are thinking of self-harming, it is imperative to seek help right away. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can offer 24/7 access to confidential support.
By calling 988, you will immediately be put in touch with a counselor trained to help those contemplating suicide as well as those going through severe mental health crises. The crisis worker can help you identify how you’re feeling and help you process those feelings in a healthier way.
They can also help put things in context, offer a listening ear, or help you get information on where to get further help, as most people in crisis would also benefit from more long-term care, such as talking to a therapist.
Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline is a service connected to SAMHSA and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health, an organization that works to help people attain more sound emotional health. 
Crisis Text Line
The Crisis Text Line is an organization highly focused on providing free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention.  It is the resource NEDA recommends for those struggling with an eating disorder who need immediate help dealing with an emotional crisis.
You can use this resource by texting HOME to 741741. This will quickly put you in contact with a crisis counselor, who is trained to walk you through these types of scenarios to help you reach a point where you feel a bit calmer and safer to be alone.
The counselors working for this hotline can also provide you with useful information about how to get long-term help, similar to the NEDA Helpline, although their primary focus is immediate crisis counseling.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government administration designed to collect information about substance abuse and mental health issues and help Americans get assistance for those same issues. One of the ways they aim to do this is through SAMHSA’s National Helpline, available at 1-800-662-4357. 
This 24/7, free, confidential number is focused on providing information on mental health resources that are relevant to your needs. This includes information on the 12-step program Food Addicts Anonymous, as well as eating disorder recovery resources.
Available in both English and Spanish, this helpline isn’t focused solely on eating disorder help, but that doesn’t mean the information it provides can’t be helpful, especially for those struggling with other mental health issues in addition to their eating disorder.
When Should You Call a Hotline?
If you are contemplating suicide or self-harm or experiencing any type of mental crisis, it is imperative to reach out for help right away.
On a less-immediate basis, if you or a loved one are struggling with disordered eating behaviors, it may be a good idea to call a helpline.
These numbers are meant to be easily accessible and have minimal barriers to entry. Counselors are trained to be positive and inclusive, and they often have knowledge of many resources which can offer further help.
If you’re not sure whether you “qualify” for their use, there is no harm in calling. These hotlines are intended to help as many people as possible, and, especially in the case of the crisis lines, they work best when people actually reach out.
What Happens After You Call a Hotline?
Generally, an eating disorder hotline will have one or two main purposes.
Most of these hotlines will aim to at least get you the information you need about long-term mental health support, so you can pursue that after the call. In these cases, you’ll likely be connected to a counselor or trained volunteer, who will ask you some questions to get an idea of who you are and the kind of help that may be useful for you.
This person will then offer you further resources and information, including phone numbers, websites, or the names of other organizations that may be helpful. They can potentially even help you track down nearby therapists who could offer you help.
The second purpose that many—but not all—numbers fulfill is short-term care. Crisis helplines, in particular, aim to help you at least get to a point where you aren’t experiencing severe, potentially dangerous emotional reactions.
The approach to this type of help can vary, but it typically involves talking with someone trained to listen and guide you through how you’re feeling in a healthy way. In these scenarios, you’re connected to a counselor right away, and they will immediately start asking you questions or walking you through exercises to help you feel better.
These calls may also end with the counselor offering additional resources or places to look for help.
Finding Help for Food Addiction
If you or a loved one are struggling with food addiction, the important thing to remember is that help is always available.
Aside from calling one of the above hotlines, you may want to seek further treatment. Speaking with your physician or therapist can be a great place to start. These medical professionals can offer advice and point you in the direction of programs that may be helpful.
Dealing with food addiction may feel difficult, but with the right kind of help, it is possible to get on the path to recovery.
- Contact the Helpline. National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
- Crisis Text Line: Eating Disorders. Crisis Text Line. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved December 3, 2022.