Alcohol is found in drinks like beer, wine and spirits. Many people drink alcohol because they like the taste, as a way of having fun, or as a way to relax. Some people drink alcohol to get rid of difficult feelings. But there are other, better ways of dealing with stress and worry.
Many young people who try alcohol might think that it feels exciting. They might think that lots of other people drink alcohol. But there are many people who never drink alcohol.
There’s an age limit for buying alcohol
- You have to be at least 18 years old to buy alcohol in restaurants and shops.
- You have to be at least 20 years old to buy alcohol at Systembolaget.
It’s illegal to buy alcohol for someone who is under the age of 18.
These rules are there to protect young people from the dangers of alcohol.
Alcohol affects the brain
Alcohol affects the brain. This is called being drunk. The following things might happen when you’re drunk:
- Your feelings become stronger. You might, for example, feel relaxed, happy, sociable or brave. You might also feel sad or angry.
- Your balance and your memory get worse.
- You find it more difficult to understand what’s happening around you.
- You might feel tired or unwell.
- If you drink too much, you might vomit or become unconscious.
It’s always better to drink alcohol in small amounts, rather than drinking in large amounts.
You can end up in bad situations if you are drunk
It’s more difficult to tell the difference between good and bad actions, when you’re drunk. Things can happen that you don’t want, dangerous things – such as fights, accidents, having sex with someone even though you don’t really want to, or trying drugs.
You might feel ill the next day
You might still feel the effects of drinking alcohol the day after. You might have a headache, feel ill, be tired, or feel depressed or anxious.
Alcohol can damage the body
Drinking alcohol affects every part of your body. As soon as you drink the brain, among other parts of your body, becomes affected.
Drinking heavily or often can cause a range of different health problems and diseases, including serious diseases within the stomach, liver and heart.
Some people can drink alcohol occasionally without it being a problem. But others get sick and have problems. You can become addicted to alcohol. The biggest risk of this happening, is if you tend to drink heavily or often.
Are you worried about someone?
- If you’re worried about someone who is really drunk:
Contact an adult, call the healthcare advice line on 1177, get in touch with the police or get to a hospital. Call 112 if the person is unconscious.
- If you’re worried about someone who drinks too often or too heavily:
Contact a Youth Guidance Centre or health clinic and talk to them about the person’s drinking. You can also make an anonymous call to an organisation that works with alcohol and drugs. Or call the alcohol helpline Alkohollinjen on 020-84 48 84.