|Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms||3664.00000000000||Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms||Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms||S||English||Psychiatry;Adolescent||Teen (13-18 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years)||NA||NA||Conditions and diseases;Healthy living and prevention||Adult (19+)
Caregivers||NA||2019-01-30T05:00:00Z||Karen Leslie, MD, MEd, BSc||10.6000000000000||50.6000000000000||854.000000000000||Health (A-Z) - Conditions||Health A-Z||<p>Discover the most common emotional, physical and behavioural signs and symptoms of problematic substance use.<br></p>||<p>A substance use disorder can have emotional, physical and behavioural symptoms. When reviewing the symptoms below, keep in mind that substance use may be just one of many possible causes.<br></p>||<h2>Key points<br></h2><ul><li>If someone has a substance use disorder, they may experience a range of emotional, behavioural and physical signs and symptoms.</li><li>Be aware that a substance use disorder might be only one possible cause for any changes in your child's appearance or behaviour.<br></li><li>A health-care provider usually examines your teen and asks about their lifestyle and substance use before deciding if they can diagnose a substance use disorder.</li><li>If a substance use disorder is diagnosed, your teen may see a counsellor and/or receive day treatment or residential (live-in) treatment.</li></ul>||<h2>Emotional symptoms of substance use disorder in teens</h2><p>When someone has a substance use disorder, they may generally experience:</p><ul><li>unexplained mood swings</li><li>sadness or
<a href="/Article?contentid=19&language=English">depression</a> </li><li>suspicion</li><li>
<a href="/Article?contentid=18&language=English">anxiety</a>.</li></ul><h2>Physical signs and symptoms of substance use disorder in teens</h2><p>Possible physical signs of a substance use disorder include:<br></p><ul><li>bloodshot (red) eyes</li><li>a lasting cough or nasal stuffiness</li><li>lasting or persistent tiredness</li><li>obvious weight loss or gain.</li></ul><h2>Behavioural symptoms of substance use disorder in teens</h2><p>If your teen has a substance use disorder, you may notice the following changes in their behaviour at home, with friends or at school. </p><h3>At home or with friends </h3><p>Some behavioural changes to watch for include:</p><ul><li>showering less and/or losing interest in other forms of self-care</li><li>withdrawing from usual family activities</li><li>coming home late</li><li>not telling you or other family members where they are going</li><li>stealing money or valuable items (to pay for drugs) </li><li>getting into trouble with the law </li><li>changing friends (although this may also occur naturally during the teen years).</li></ul><h3>At school</h3><p>At school, behavioural signs of a substance use disorder may include:</p><ul><li>a drop in grades or school performance</li><li>missing or skipping school</li><li>falling asleep in class </li><li>not doing homework </li><li>dropping out of sports or other extracurricular activities </li><li>forgetting things or not being able to concentrate.</li></ul><p>The above signs and symptoms might suggest other problems in addition to problematic substance use, so it is important to see a health-care provider such as a family doctor, paediatrician or nurse practitioner for a diagnosis and further help if needed.</p>||<h2>How a substance use disorder is diagnosed</h2><p>Your teen will be assessed by a health-care provider to decide if a diagnosis of substance use disorder is appropriate. </p><p>The health-care provider will collect information from you and/or your teen at a medical appointment. They may ask your teen to fill in some screening questionnaires that can identify someone who is using substances in a problematic way. They may also do a physical exam to look for physical symptoms of certain substance use.</p><p>Your teen has a right to confidential health care whether they meet their health-care provider as part of a visit with you or in a separate appointment on their own. However, the health-care provider must share information about your teen if there are immediate concerns for your teen's safety (such as a risk of suicide or homicide or reported abuse of a teen under 16 years).</p><p>Depending on the substances your teen is using (or if they identify any other risky health behaviours) the health-care provider may also suggest blood or other tests. </p><h3>Will my teen need to do a drug test?</h3><p>Drug tests are rarely helpful for identifying a substance use disorder.<br></p><ul><li>They must be done in a very specific way to be accurate.</li><li>They only show substance use that has taken place in the past 24 to 48 hours.</li><li>There is no evidence that they help establish a trusting relationship between a teen and their health-care provider. </li></ul><p>They may only be done if a teen gives their consent or is unable to consent (for example if unconscious in the emergency room).<br></p>||<h2>What can a health-care provider do for a teen with a substance use disorder?</h2><p>Depending on the assessment, a health-care provider will make some suggestions to your teen and you about what might be helpful. </p><p>One useful option for a teen with problematic substance use is to see a counsellor. They may use different approaches, including motivational interviewing, to support your teen and help them identify areas where they might want to make some changes to their behaviour. </p><p>Other, more intensive, treatments for substance user disorder include: </p><ul><li>day treatment, where a teen attends a group based program during the week to get treatment and obtain school credits</li><li>residential treatment, where a teen lives at a treatment centre and receives support and schooling every day.</li></ul><p>These different treatments usually include some kind of <a href="/Article?contentid=3665&language=English">family and/or parent treatment and support</a>. In most provinces in Canada, these treatment programs require a teen to agree to take part. A few provinces have laws that permit parents to make this decision instead if the teen is under 16 years of age.<br></p>||<p>George, T., & Vaccarino, F. (Eds.) (2015).
<em>Substance Abuse in Canada: The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence</em>. Retrieved from
<a href="http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/CCSA-Effects-of-Cannabis-Use-during-Adolescence-Report-2015-en.pdf">http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/CCSA-Effects-of-Cannabis-Use-during-Adolescence-Report-2015-en.pdf</a></p>||Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms||False|