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 Drug & Substance Use

Learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms of problematic drug and substance use.

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The symptoms listed below are ones that show up early on. There may be other symptoms that develop later. It is important to understand the effects and risks connected to drugs and substance use. Then you will be able to make an informed decision and prevent it from becoming a problem in your life.

Thoughts add

  • Think you need substances to have fun.
  • Believe you fit in better with friends when you use substances.

Feelings add

  • Feel guilty about your substance use.
  • Get annoyed or lose your temper easily.

Behaviours add

  • Use substances as your main source of entertainment.
  • Use substances to help you escape worries or problems.
  • Spend a lot of time getting, using or recovering from substances.
  • Find it hard to control or cut down your substance use.
  • Have problems with work, school or relationships because of substance use.
  • Stop doing activities that were fun or important to you.

Physical Signs add

  • Need to use more and more of the substance to get the same effect.

Remember, symptoms are changes from your usual routines or habits. Not everyone experiences the same set of symptoms or to the same level. 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 are strong, on-going and get in the way of a person’s life.

You can prevent problems from getting worse if you are able to spot these symptoms and take action.

Concerned about someone else?

It can be hard to understand why a friend uses alcohol or substances so often. For information on how to support 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 to reduce your risk of harm here are a few options.