Where do they get the alcohol?

It’s actually pretty remarkable just how easy it is for young people to get ahold of alcohol. Not only is it illegal to buy it for them, but the majority of adults don’t think teenagers should be drinking. So where are they getting their alcohol?


Teenagers who drink are most likely to get their alcohol from Systembolaget. 24 per cent of ninth graders say that their most recent source of alcohol was an adult who bought it for them.

Almost as many got their alcohol from a boyfriend or girlfriend, a friend, or friends’ siblings. Only five per cent said their source was their own siblings. The most common sources of alcohol for students in the 2nd year of upper secondary school were boy- or girlfriends, friends, or friends’ siblings.

If you're outgoing, it's no problem at all getting ahold of alcohol. You just have to know the right people.

Kevin, aged 15, Umeå


Some teenagers get their alcohol from their own parents. 12 per cent of ninth graders who drink alcohol from Systembolaget cite their parents as their source, while 14 per cent say they had taken it from their parents without permission. Taking alcohol from parents without permission is more common amongst girls than boys.

Amongst upper secondary school students it is more common for their parents to buy it for them. Almost one in every four 2nd year upper secondary school students saying that last time they drank, the alcohol came from their parents. Only four percent had taken it from their parents without permission. Keep in mind that even if your child is approaching or has already had their 18th birthday, it’s still illegal to buy alcohol for them.  

My sister asked me if I wanted her to buy for me. I said no, but then she asked me again if I was completely sure.

Nicole, aged 14, Örebro


34 per cent of ninth graders who have drunk smuggled alcohol got it from an adult who was not a parent. 21 per cent got it from a boy- or girlfriend, friends, or friends’ siblings. Smuggled alcohol is often cheap, which means the teenagers can buy even more of it. 

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

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