Joan Collins IN 2005 cannabis and cocaine overtook alcohol for the first time as the substances most consumed by Balearic young people who went to the “Proyecto Hombre” organisation seeking treatment. This is a significant change because until now alcohol (a legal substance) has always occupied first place, while cannabis and cocaine are only obtainable on the black market, according to the director of the organising committee of the VIII Days of Youth, Family and Drugs, Lino F. Salas. During this event, which started yesterday in Madrid, the study “Psychological profile of the young people treated” in Proyecto Hombre's network of centres will be presented. This was developed by studying a sample of 1'417 minors in Proyecto Hombre's centres in 16 Spanish towns, of which 118 were from Palma. The head of this Non Governmental Organisation, which specialises in fighting addictions and associated problems, said he considered the early age at which teenagers started to consume these substances, legal or not, “relevant”. The national average age is 14.5 years, the same as in the Balearics. According to the study, a total of 118 parents of Balearic minors went to Proyecto Hombre during 2005 to ask for help and, as a consequence of this, 81 young people attended their centres, which is the highest ratio in Spain. By way of contrast, 111 parents went to their Jaen centre last year, but this resulted in only 55 minors attending for treatment. This growth is important, according to Salas, because traditionally minors between 14 and 18 years of age who start to take narcotics “don't admit that they have a problem”, and consider that they have their lives under control. According to the organisation, some 46 percent of the 118 young people treated in Palma last year were treated for addiction to cannabis, smoking up to 16 “joints” daily, while 36 percent were treated for addiction to cocaine, a substance which is mainly consumed by minors in the Balearics, Jaen and Madrid. By contrast, only 14 percent of the cases in the Palma centre were for addiction to alcohol, which puts this substance in third place in all the substances taken by the minors in the islands, although it is worth remembering that it is still first in the overall classification of drugs consumed. The organisation explained that the problems which an excessive consumption of mind altering substances brings to minors are low performance, including failure at school, and a general lack of motivation, in addition to health problems.