Getting Free Help for Addiction and Related Disorders in 2022

Are you or a family members suffering from addiction, or an addiction-related illness or process behaviour? You can keep this handy list of emergency counselling services in South Africa. Telephonic advice and counselling should be free of charge although admission into a treatment centre or hospital will incur costs. Most of the listed numbers are toll-free however some may incur a charge on your mobile, VOIP or telephonic network.

Have we missed a number? Please let us know.

National Suicide & Crisis Lines

South African Depression & Anxiety Group - SADAG

0800 121 314

SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group.

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline

0800 708 090

Adcock Ingram is a leading South African pharmaceutical manufacturer sponsoring a support line to provide immediate help for people suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues.

Lifeline South Africa

0861 322 322

24-hour crisis intervention service. “Emotional First Aid station”.

Befrienders Bloemfontein

051 444 5000

If you are feeling anxious, confused, hurt, depressed, if you are wondering whether life is worth the Befrienders today.The service is free and completely confidential. You don't even have to tell us who you are.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Pharmadynamics Police and Trauma Line

0800 205 026

For abuse trafficking reports and drug related crimes.

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline

0800 121 314

For alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation and helpline.

Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa

0861 435 722

Worldwide fellowship for alcoholics supporting those choosing to be sober. Only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.


0861 252 666

Al-Anon Family Groups is for the families and friends of problem drinkers, with a special section – Alateen – for children of alchoholics, and a group for adult children of alcoholics.

SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

0861 173 422

Sanca provides specialised and affordable prevention and treatment services for alcohol and other drug dependence. A national body established in 1956, it has independently operated societies and counselling centres in all nine provinces.

The Cedars Addiction Treatment Facilites

081 860 9578

The Cedars is a boutique group of addiction and mental health treatment facilities where every client gets the individual help he or she needs. Our tranquil, private locations around South Africa are staffed by a leading team of multi-disciplinary specialists, many with a personal journey in recovery and a genuine desire to heal.

Narcotics Anonymous SA

0861 006 962

NA is a non-profit organisation for recovering drug addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.

Domestic & Sexual Violence

People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa)

083 765 1235

Gauteng-based organisation offering shelter and counselling services to women in abusive relationships, rape survivors, survivors of incest etc.POWA is a “feminist, women’s rights organisation that provides both services, and engages in advocacy in order to ensure the realisation of women’s rights and thereby improve women’s quality of life”.

Rape Crisis

021 447 9762 (Observatory) 021 633 9229 (Athlone) 021 361 9085 (Khayalitsha)

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust works to prevent rape, offers healing to survivors, and works towards legal reforms that will ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. Services include counselling, court preparation, support groups, important contact numbers. Non-governmental organisation.

Stop Women Abuse

0800 150 150

Crisis counselling for women who have been raped or abused, advice and support for people wanting to support women in need of help, legal and other options available for abused women and rape survivors. Run by Life Line.

Eating Disorders


021 761 0740

Imani offers a full continuum of care necessary to complete the recovery process. While the behaviours differ, the underlying feelings of desperation, powerlessness and suffering are universal.At Imani we firstly deal with the clients destructive behaviours surrounding their illness and then guide them in processing the reasons for this behaviour. We work through a therapeutic community where individuals are part of a group with similar struggles. Through mutual support and shared experience, a healing atmosphere permeates the facility even outside structured therapy sessions.

Eating Disorders South Africa

012 338 2543

Eating Disorders South Africa (EDSA) hosts weekly support groups for individuals over the age of 18 who are struggling with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. These free meetings take place every Wednesday from 17:30 to 19:00 at Denmar Psychiatric Hospital.

Gay & Lesbian (LGBTQ)

Gender-based Violence Line

0800 012 322

The 24-hour hotline offers counselling for those who have been physically, emotionally, sexually or financially abused. You can also visit your nearest Lifeline centre.

Lifeline South Africa

0861 322 322

24-hour crisis intervention service. “Emotional First Aid station”.

Gay Lesbian Support - South Africa

0860 333 331

SMS 079 891 3036

You only pay for half the cost of the call. Send us an SMS message and a trained counselor will call you back. Monday to Friday: 4pm to 10pm & Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 10pm

Specific Disorders/Other

ADHD Helpline

0800 55 44 33

The 24-hour hotline offers counselling for those who are suffering from ADHD or would like to know more in order to help others.

SADAG Mental Health Line

011 234 4837

SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group.

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour

0861 435 787

The hotline is manned by experienced counselling staff, who are trained to contain and manage the immediate crisis, provide transportation and arrange the required admission to the nearest Psychiatric Clinic, if so required.If the caller is in crisis, the intervention vehicle is dispatched, but if it is not an emergency, the caller is transferred to a registered counsellor for counselling and an appropriate referral.

Epilepsy South Africa

0860 374 537

The non-profit organisation provides education, counselling and support for those living with epilepsy and their families.

Diabetes South Africa

021 425 4440

The non-profit organisation provides health education and workshops, as well as dietary plans and support groups for people living with diabetes and their families.

ADHD Life Helpline

0861 11 39 13

The Life Helpline offers facilitation to clients on various matters: for example age-related & relationship problems, general information about legal, social, psychological and health problems and well-being. Our clients mobile phone users, but they do include people from the very margins of society.


021 551 0971

We are one of the largest organizations in the world that is solely fighting human trafficking. At a local, domestic, and international level. All over the world, we are not just responding to trafficking that is already taking place, but we are actively working on the frontlines to prevent it from happening to begin with.

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