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Knowledge Hub - Substance Use

Most young people will experiment with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs at some point during their adolescence. A significant proportion will become regular users and, for some, this will create problems. Alcohol consumption in particular usually begins in adolescence, and habits set in place during this age period may persist for many years. Young people’s substance use is closely related to the activities of the peer group, which provides a critical backdrop. Health policy and drugs laws shape our approach to health promotion and intervention, and a wealth of research informs our understanding of how smoking, drinking and the use of illegal drugs develops during the second decade.

We have developed a range of resources to substance use service improvement.

Read more about our substance use tools and services or link directly to each tool below. The links will take you to different sections of the website.

If you need any help or advice in using these tools or interpreting the information they provide, contact your local specialist.

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Key Topics

Resources on a range of key topics relating to substance use including:

Sign up to our eBulletin, the Child and Maternal Health Knowledge Update, to keep informed of the latest resources added to the Knowledge Hub.

Click on the menu on the left of the page to browse various types of resources ranging from news items and guides and practice to consultations and government policy.

You can search this Substance Use Hub using the search box at the top right.

Latest resources are highlighted in the right hand panel of the page. This hub is continually updated with substance use themed resources.


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