Sweden - "Prata om Alcohol"

The Swedish school intervention on alcohol "Prata om alkohol" based on life skills approach shows evidence of effectiveness. The programme is funded by the "Swedish spirits & wine suppliers” and “Brewers of Sweden”.

Today, the proportion of alcohol consumers as well as alcohol consumption among Swedish students in 2017 is still at historically low levels in both grade 9 (age 15-16) and upper secondary school year 2 (age 17-18). However, the declining trend observed in recent years may have slowed down. Today 40% in grade 9 and 74% of students in upper secondary school year 2 replied that they drank alcohol in the past 12 months.

Prata om Alkohol is running in Sweden since 2006 and have today reached 75 % of the schools within the target group. The Swedish programme has been rolled-out in Finland, Denmark and in the Baltics States.

This school-based educational programme focuses on teaching pupils how to resist social pressure, peer pressure and learn a way to say "no" to alcohol.  Role-plays, class discussions are used to develop the necessary skills and values.

The three objectives of the programme are to encourage young people not to consume alcohol (i.e., delay the age of onset); but if they consume, to encourage them to drink less and to minimize risky behaviours.

Scientists from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have evaluated the programme for three years. The study aimed at evaluating the impact of “Prata om Alkohol” in a long-term perspective regarding primary school student’s attitudes towards alcohol, their consumption of alcohol and risk behaviour associated with alcohol consumption. Students were followed from year 7 (age 13-14) to the conclusion of year 9 in primary school (age 15-16).

Scientist Anders Tengström, “The study is interesting because it shows that Prata om Alkohol – unlike many other school programmes out there - clearly reduces risk behaviours among young people linked to alcohol use. As it is important to reduce alcohol-related harm among young people, there is a reason to look further at what is happening in this programme that produces positive impact."

The key evidence from the evaluation:

  • Overall, it was concluded that the programme could help adolescents decrease their “risky behaviour” associated with alcohol consumption.
  • A significant number of boys in the intervention group have said “no” when asked if they considered testing drugs in the future.
  • It was found that girls in the intervention group significantly less suffered from negative consequences due to their alcohol consumption.
  • The programme had no real impact on influencing adolescents to postpone the the onset of drinking. However, although not statistically significant, more people in the intervention group rejected the idea of trying alcohol compared with pupils the control group.

The overall conclusion is that, according to this longitudinal evaluation, Prata Om Alkohol can positively influence adolescents when it comes to the use of alcohol & drugs or attitudes towards them.

Please click here to read the full report of the longitudinal evaluation.