Book cover, Quick guide to drugs and alcohol

Quick guide to drugs & alcohol

What are drugs and what are the effects on the people who use them? This easy-to-read book is intended for anyone who is interested in finding information about drugs and alcohol. Topics explored include drugs and driving, pregnancy, treatment, statistics, drugs and the law, where to go for help and further information.

This book is intended for anyone who is interested in finding accurate information about drugs and alcohol. It is not a medical or scientific book, it is set out in easy to read sections so that you can find the information that you require quickly, and read as much or as little as you like.

A Quick Guide to Drugs and Alcohol, 3rd edition was published in 2017 by Drug Info, State Library of NSW. Drug Info is a partnership between the State Library of NSW and NSW Health. This third edition has been revised and updated from the previous edition, with three new chapters added.

Limited copies are available to order via the Your Room website.


About the authors

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) 

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is an internationally recognised Research Centre of Excellence based at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The Centre is multidisciplinary and collaborates across a range of disciplines with institutions and individuals in Australia and overseas.

NDARC contributors:
  • Dr Wendy Swift: Chapter 1 - About drugs, Chapter 2 - Alcohol, Chapter 5 - Cannabis
  • Dr Suzanne Nielsen: Chapter 3 - Benzodiazepines, Chapter 9 - Heroin (other opioids)
  • Dr Sharlene Kaye: Chapter 4 - Caffeine and energy drinks
  • Professor Shane Darke: Chapter 6 - Cocaine, Chapter 9 - Heroin, Chapter 10 - Ice, speed and other methamphetamines (with Michael Farrell)
  • Dr Courtney Breen: Chapter 7 - Ecstasy, Chapter 8 - GHB, Chapter 11 - Inhalants, Chapter 12 - Ketamine, Chapter 13 - LSD, Chapter 14 - Natural hallucinogens
  • Professor Michael Farrell: Chapter 10 - Ice, speed and methamphetamines (with Shane Darke)
  • Rachel Sutherland and Dr Monica Barrett: Chapter 15 - New & emerging psychoactive substances
  • Dr Briony Larance: Chapter 16 - Steroids

NDARC authors of previous editions: Matthew Dunn and Heather Proudfoot.

Steve Bolt 

Steve Bolt the author of Chapter 18  - Drugs and the law. He is a solicitor partner at Bolt Findlay Solicitors & Mediators. He worked for several years at Redfern Legal Centre. From 1996 to early 2004, he was the principal solicitor at the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre. Steve is the author of Rough Deal, a plain English book about the NSW drug laws . He is also the author of a number of other publications on drug laws and drug policy.



The contents of this web resource are intended for information purposes only. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of publication. Drug Info does not offer any information in this resource as a tool for treatment, counselling or legal advice. Drug Info recommends that prior to making any decision based on any information in this resource, youshould obtain independent professional legal or medical advice.

Websites and information about service providers referred to in the publication have been selected to provide relevant and up-to-date information as at the date of publication. Drug Info accepts no responsibility for the content of the websites and does not endorse any specific services offered by providers.