What do teenagers drink?

Young people usually drink spirits, strong beer, alcopops, or cider. The fact that teenagers are drinking so much spirits is cause for concern: young people find it hard to judge the effects of alcohol and doing so becomes even harder with 40 per cent alcohol in their bodies.

SPIRITS, CIDER, AND ALCOPOPS

Spirits are the most common drink amongst both boys and girls in the ninth grade, but boys drink almost as much strong beer. Upper secondary school boys mainly drink strong beer, while upper secondary school girls mainly drink spirits, alcopops, and wine. 

Most people drink spirits. It gets you drunker and you don't need to drink so much.

Jesper, aged 15, Umeå

SMUGGLED AND ILLICIT SPRITS

In 2021, 18 per cent of ninth graders and 34 per cent of year 2 upper secondary school students drank illegal alcohol, i.e. home-distilled or smuggled alcohol. The percentage who drank smuggled alcohol has not changed very much over the past 20 years, while the percentage of those who had drunk home-distilled alcohol has declined sharply over the same period. 

Friends at school
Photo: Pablo Frisk

"Cider’s good. It tastes like a soft drink and you don’t get totally plastered".

Michelle, aged 15, Örebro

More to read about the same topic

Useful contacts and more info

It can sometimes be good to talk to someone who knows a bit more about teenagers and alcohol, or about anything else, for that matter.

If you want to do more

There’s a lot you can do to support and be there for teenagers. Maybe you can take part in night-time patrols, or make it easier for them to say “no”, or help promote a smarter approach to alcohol in some other way.

Other important topics to read about

When parents are not around

Back to The Teenage Phrasebook home page