Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms

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​Discover the most common emotional, physical and behavioural signs and symptoms of problematic substance use.

​Key points

  • If someone has a substance use disorder, they may experience a range of emotional, behavioural and physical signs and symptoms.
  • Be aware that a substance use disorder might be only one possible cause for any changes in your child's appearance or behaviour.
  • 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.
  • If a substance use disorder is diagnosed, your teen may see a counsellor and/or receive day treatment or residential (live-in) treatment.
Last updated: January 30th 2019