Need urgent help? Find support here.

Need urgent help?


If you find yourself in need of immediate help, call Emergency Services – 911.

These are examples of situations that you should seek immediate help:

  • Thinking about ending your life or trying to end your life.
  • Feeling scared because you’re experiencing sensations that aren’t real and/or beliefs that can’t possibly be true.
  • Becoming unable to care for yourself, and it’s putting you at risk of serious harm.
  • Experiencing an alcohol or any other drug overdose.
  • Taking a dangerous combination of substances (like medications and alcohol).

You can also

  • call the crisis line at 1-800-784-2433
  • chat online with Kids Help Phone
  • SMS/Text Kids Help Phone by texting CONNECT to 686868, if you would like to stop the conversation text STOP

For other phone, chat or text support options, visit our Get Support section.

What to look for: Problematic Alcohol Use

Learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms linked to problematic alcohol use.

Learn More keyboard_arrow_down

The symptoms here are ones that show up early on. Other symptoms may develop later. It is important to understand the effects and risks associated with alcohol use so you can make an informed decision and prevent alcohol from becoming a problem in your life.



Thoughts add

  • Believe you need alcohol to have fun or relax
  • Believe you’re more interesting or fit in better when you drink
  • Think you should cut down your drinking

Feelings add

  • Get annoyed when people criticize your drinking
  • Feel guilty about your drinking

Behaviours add

  • Use alcohol to escape from your worries or problems
  • Spend a lot of time getting, using or recovering from alcohol
  • Find it hard to control or cut down drinking
  • Have problems with work, school, or relationships because of drinking
  • Increase your use of alcohol – the number of drinks or how often you drink
  • Stop doing activities that were once fun or important to you

Physical Signs add

  • Need to drink more to feel the same effect
  • Have blackouts – not remembering what happened when you’ve had too much to drink
  • Experience health problems, like alcohol poisoning or alcohol is affecting a previous health condition

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

If you are able to spot these symptoms and take action, it can prevent problems from getting worse.

Concerned about someone else?

It can be difficult to understand why a friend uses alcohol or substances so often. For information on how to help a friend, visit Concerned About a Friend’s Alcohol or Substance Use.

Families are often the first to notice changes and become concerned. For information on how to support a young person, visit Supporting a Family Member.

What Next?

If you want to find out if this is something you are experiencing or are looking for tips for safer alcohol use here are a few options.