Drug and alcohol information for PDHPE students

This guide takes you to key eresources, books and information about drugs and alcohol for PDHPE students.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available



Tobacco is made from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant. The ingredient in tobacco that has an effect on the mind is nicotine, which is highly addictive.

Tobacco originated in the Americas and was introduced to Europe in the 15th century. It was first smoked in pipes, then snorted as snuff and smoked in cigars. By the early 20th century, smoking cigarettes was the most popular way of using tobacco.

An association between tobacco smoking and lung cancer was identified by medical researchers in the 1920s, and by the 1950s there was good evidence of a range of damaging effects. By this time, however, nicotine addiction was widespread, and tobacco companies opposed public health measures, which they perceived as threatening their commercial interests.

Since the 1970s, largely in response to pressure from medical and health organisations, laws have been introduced across Australia aimed at reducing the damage caused by tobacco through, for example, restrictions on advertising and other measures to minimise the impact of passive smoking.

Read more about tobacco here.


Journal articles

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.

Drug facts

Use the following websites to find information about specific drugs, including their long and short term effects, how they are used, legal status and information on mixing drugs.

Further reading

A quick guide to drugs and alcohol

Further information from Drug Info

Visit the Drug Info website for free drug and alcohol information for the community of NSW. Drug Info is a partnership between NSW Ministry of Health and the State Library of NSW.