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. 37 per cent of ninth graders and 48 per cent of students in the 2nd year of upper secondary school who drink alcohol say that their most recent source of alcohol was a boy- or girlfriend, friends, or siblings. 24 per cent of ninth graders got their alcohol from an adult who bought it for them.

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

Michelle, aged 15, Örebro


Some teenagers get their alcohol from their own parents. 12 per cent of ninth graders who have drunk alcohol say they had taken it from their parents without permission. Taking alcohol from parents without permission is more common amongst girls (15%) than boys (9%).

It’s more common, amongst upper secondary school students, for their parents to buy it for them, with almost one fifth of students in 2nd year upper secondary school saying that the last alcohol they drank came from their parents. 8 per cent say that they were given alcohol by, or took it without permission from a friend’s parents, and only 3 per cent had taken alcohol from their own 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.

Teenagers at school
Photo: Pablo Frisk

A lot of people pretend to be drunk because they don’t want to stand out from the crowd.

Max , aged 16, Gothenburg


20 per cent of ninth graders and 32 per cent of 2nd year upper secondary school students have drunk smuggled alcohol. Some youngsters also buy alcohol through social media contacts – 15 per cent of ninth graders and 2nd year upper secondary school students obtained alcohol in this way over the past year. Smuggled alcohol is often cheap, which means the teenagers can buy even more of it.


30 per cent of ninth graders and 15 per cent of 2nd year upper secondary school students, stated that they don’t know where the alcohol they have gotten a hold of actually came from.

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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