Know someone with alcohol problems?
50 percent of all Swedes do—and they worry about it, too. In fact, one out of every fourth Swede worries over a relative or friend who consumes too much alcohol. A study is being presented by Novus, commissioned by IQ, an independent company affiliated to Systembolaget, which shows 51 percent of all Swedes know someone they believe drinks too much. However, to take the step and actually confront those friends is something many find difficult to do, especially younger Swedes. According to the study, less than half of Swedes aged 18-35 confront friends they suspect have alcohol problems. Something alcohol researcher Sven Andréasson, professor in social medicine, bemoans:

"When you ask people what it was that made them quit drinking, it is generally social factors, social pressure. In some cases, it is treatment, but in most cases it's about someone they know who has taken action. If a person you feel confident in approaches you and addresses the issue, if that person tells you they've seen something or that they are worried, well it usually hits home," he says. Professor Andréasson explains the reason you ought to confront the person is because you care about them, but that you should have the kind of relationship that it matters to him or her what you think—or the person with the problem won't listen. How to do it? You don't want to offend or hurt someone. You don't want to just barge in, so the best thing to do is simply convey that you're worried, say that you may be wrong, but that you have understood and seen something, and that you're prepared to help.
"Avoid being confrontational," he says. "And don't use labels. Do not say 'I understand you're an alcoholic.' Do not give unwanted advice like 'you ought to go to AA' and do not use technical terms, but rather approach the person like a good friend."