What to Look For

In this section, you can learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms associated with problematic drug use. The symptoms listed are ones that emerge early on with drug use problems and there may be other symptoms that develop later.

Click on the boxes in the image below to learn more about the symptoms of problematic drug use.

Behaviours: Use drugs as your main source of entertainment. Get high to help you escape worries or problems. Spend a lot of time getting, using or recovering from drugs. Find it hard to control or cut down on your drug use. Have problems with work, school, relationships etc. because of drug use. Stop doing activities that were fun or important to you.
Feelings: Feel guilty about your drug use. Get annoyed or lose your temper easily.
Physical Signs: Need to use more and more of the drug to get the same effect.
Thoughts: Think you need to use drugs to have fun. Believe you fit in better with friends when you use drugs.

Not everyone experiences the same set of symptoms or to the same level. A person may be diagnosed with a substance use disorder when symptoms persist, are very distressing and interfere in a person’s life.

Being able to spot these symptoms and taking action can prevent problems from getting worse.

Concerned About a Friend?

Often friends notice changes that may signal an emerging drug use problem. For information on how to support a friend, visit Concerned About a Friend's Alcohol or Drug Use?