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Alcohol and Other Drugs

Drug Use: What to Look For

Learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical symptoms seen with problematic drug use. The symptoms li​sted below are likely to happen early and you may have other symptoms later on.

Find out more below to learn more about the symptoms of problematic drug use.



  • you think you need to use drugs to have fun
  • you fit in better with friends when you’re use drugs


  • you feel guilty about your drug use
  • you get mad or lose your temper easily

Physical Signs

  • you need to use more and more of a drug to get the same effect


  • you get high to help you escape worries or problems
  • you spend a lot of time getting drugs, using, or recovering from drugs
  • it’s hard to control or cut down on your drug use
  • you’re having problems with work, school, and relationships because of your drug use
  • you’ve stopped doing activities that were fun or important to you

Not everyone has the same symptoms or symptoms at the same level. A person may be diagnosed with a drug use problem when symptoms don’t go away, are very upsetting, or affect their life.

You can prevent problems from getting worse by knowing what symptoms to watch for and getting help.

Worried about a friend?

Friends are often the ones who notice a problem with drug use. To learn how to support a friend, see Helping Others: For Friends.​​

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