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Drugs and Alcohol in Australia

Find out about the regulations, restrictions and problems affecting teenagers in Australia...

Alcohol and Teenagers

The legal age to buy alcohol in Australia is 18. It is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 and it is also an offence to buy alcohol for anyone under that age. In most states, the legal age for alcohol consumption is 18. However, there may be exceptions for over 16s during a meal, if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Alcohol abuse is considered to be a problem in Australia, with binge drinking on the rise. Some members of Parliament are lobbying to raise the drinking age to 21. The police take drink driving very seriously in Australia and there are usually a number of police check points in high population areas, particularly over the weekends.

There are regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings throughout the country for those for whom alcohol has become a problem.

Drugs and Teenagers

The legal age to buy cigarettes in Australia is 18; however, it is not an offence to smoke under the age of 18.

Australia has strict laws relating to drugs. Possession of drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy (excluding prescription amphetamine based drugs), hallucinogens, heroin, marijuana, speed, amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine can lead to a hefty fine and up to two years imprisonment.

There are several drug and advice groups available. The Family Drug Support service provides a helpline and advice on drug addiction and related treatments. Other useful resources include:

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