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Young people take drugs for much the same reasons as older people, often with the added element of rebellion. However, the consequences can be much worse. Childhood and adolescence are critical times for brain development, and the brain is more sensitive to the influences of drugs and alcohol during these periods. For example, there is evidence that alcohol use in young people can lead to impaired learning and memory which can affect them for the rest of their lives.
Use these websites and publications to find statistical information about drug and alcohol use by young people.
There are a number of laws in NSW designed to protect young people (under 18s) from being sold alcohol and tobacco and from being given or from consuming alcohol.
Journal articles are a good source of explanations and discussions of drug and alcohol issues. There are several eresources with links to journal articles available in the State Library.