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Tobacco, alcohol, drugs

Drinking too much or too often

Dricka för mycket eller för ofta - engelska

This text is about having problems with alcohol. You’re drinking too much or too often, if alcohol is affecting your life in a big way. You can get help to stop drinking alcohol.

En person har somnat med flera tomma glas framför sig. Illustration.

Some people can drink alcohol occasionally, without having any problems. Some people drink too much and find it difficult to stop. You can’t compare yourself with other people.

Here are some signs that you have a problem with alcohol:

  • You’re able to tolerate more alcohol than you did before.
  • You often drink more than you thought you would.
  • You often do things when drunk that you later regret.
  • You forget what you’ve done or said, when you’ve been drinking.
  • You want to drink again the day after being drunk.
  • You can’t stop drinking even though you try.
  • You think about alcohol a lot, and often find reasons to drink.
  • Things aren’t going well at school or at work.
  • Other people say that you drink a lot, or are worried about you. You may have problems with your friends or family.
  • You find yourself feeling sad, irritated, anxious or having trouble sleeping.
  • You find yourself in bad situations because of alcohol. This might include stealing, harming yourself or other people, or having sex with someone even though you don’t want to.

You can read more about alcohol problems in Swedish at UMO.se. 

En nyvaken person i sängen, en tankebubbla: "Uh, jag kan inte gå upp, jag får säga att jag är sjuk." Illustration.

You can become addicted to alcohol

Addiction means that your body is used to being influenced by alcohol and needs to have it.

It can then feel extra hard when you don’t have alcohol. You may begin to sweat, feel unwell, have difficulty sleeping, have heart palpitations or hallucinations. You may also feel worried or anxious.

Why do people have problems with alcohol?

Some people start drinking too much alcohol when something bad has happened. It can feel as though the alcohol helps. But the difficult feelings will always come back. There are other, better ways of dealing with stress and worry.

It can also start with lots of partying. The risk of developing a problem is greater if you drink heavily, or often.

If you’ve been drinking heavily for a while, you could try not drinking alcohol for a few weeks or months.

Problems with alcohol can also be caused by other things, such as people around you drinking a lot when you were young, or something that has happened in your life. There is a greater risk of developing a problem with alcohol if a relative has, or has had, an alcohol problem themselves.

It is possible to get rid of your alcohol problem

Is alcohol a problem in your life? Here are a few tips on how you can change that:

  • Think about for yourself: What do I want my life to be like? How do I want to feel?
  • Tell someone that you have a problem with alcohol, such as a friend or an adult that you trust.
  • Get help. You can start by contacting a Youth Guidance Centre, a Health Clinic, or a clinic for people who have problems with alcohol or drugs. You’ll find these on the healthcare website 1177 Vårdguiden. If you’re at school or university, you can contact your School Health Service or Student Health Service.
  • You can also contact social services in your municipality. Tell them that you want to speak to someone who works with substance abuse and addiction.
  • Contact an organisation that works with alcohol problems by phone, or online.

What kind of help can I get?

You’ll get to talk to a person, who helps young people to give up alcohol. You can meet with them multiple times. You’ll discuss how you can change your situation. You’ll also talk about how you are feeling and what your life looks like.

You can get help to talk to your family, or other people who are important to you. It’s common to have problems with your family or with the people you are living with, if you have an alcohol problem.

You can get help with other things too, such as seeing a doctor or psychologist, if necessary.

It’s usually good for other people who know you, to also be with you through this process -such as a family member or your legal guardian.

You can check into a treatment centre

You might check into a treatment centre if you have big problems or can’t live at home. The centre is a place where you can stay, while you are getting help to give up alcohol. 

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