Where do they get the alcohol?

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

OTHER ADULTS, FRIENDS, OR FRIENDS’ SIBLINGS

Teenagers who drink are most likely to get their alcohol from Systembolaget. 26 per cent of ninth graders say that an adult who is not a sibling or parent bought it for them. The second most common sources are boy- and girlfriends, friends, or friends’ siblings –  who were mentioned by 17 per cent of boys and 30 per cent of girls. The corresponding percentages amongst year 2 upper secondary school students are 28 per cent of boys and 45 per cent of girls (2019).

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

Kevin, aged 15, Umeå

FROM HOME

Some teenagers get alcohol from their own parents, with 13 per cent of ninth graders cite their parents as a source of alcohol. The correspon-ding figure amongst upper secondary school students in 2019 was 23 per cent.

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

SMUGGLING

31 per cent of the ninth graders who had drunk smuggled alcohol got it from an adult who bought or sold it. 25 per cent got their alcohol from a boyfriend or girlfriend, friends or friends’ siblings. The alcohol is usually cheap, which means the teenagers can buy more of it.

More to read about the same topic

Teenager’s drinking habits

Not only is it illegal to buy alcohol for young people, but most adults think that alcohol is something teenagers should be avoiding. So where are teenagers getting their alcohol? How much do they drink? And what sort of problems do young people experience in connection to alcohol?

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

Teenagers and alcohol

There are many considerations that can easily arise when your child becomes a teenager. But first and foremost: how do young people think about drinking themselves? And why is it more dangerous to drink alcohol in adolescence than as an adult?

Take responsibility

Maybe you sometimes feel pretty helpless as a parent. But there’s a lot you can do. As always showing that you care, that you’re there and that you are happy to listen. And often it’s important to be clear about what you expect of your teenager.

If parents are not around

Festivals, home parties and trips abroad are examples of situations where adults are rarely present. There are some pitfalls that you, as a parent, should be aware of and that you can teach your teenager how to handle.

Yes or no?

The clearer you communicate your expectations, the easier it is for your teenager to take a stand or do what you say. Also, think about what sort of message and values you’re conveying to your child.

The teenage years

The teenage years are a very special time in your child’s life. Teenagers are navigating the frontier lands between childhood and adulthood and there are a lot of new things to handle: school, friends, being allowed to stay out late, sex, parties and – not least – alcohol.

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