Joan Collins
YOUNG people who attend a “botellon” (binge drinking session) in Palma consume an average of half a bottle per person, preferably spirits or liqueurs, and nearly 30 percent of them also take illegal drugs, according to a poll by the council. For the poll 400 young people, from 14 years old, were questioned as they were taking part in these events at weekends in April and May.
The results of the poll were presented yesterday by the Palma councillors of Sports and Youth, Rafael Duran, and of Social Services, Margalida Ferrando. Also present was Vanessa Colomar, head of the Youth section of the Red Cross, whose volunteers had carried out the interviews at “botellons” on the Paseo Maritimo and other areas of the city. According to the study, the average age for starting to attend the “botellons” is between 15 and 16 years old, although some 19 percent confirmed that they had been attending these events since they were 13. The majority group were young people between 19 and 24 years old. The majority were students and, on average, they go to a “botellon” three times a month, although the frequency was four times a month for boys outside the majority age group of 19 to 24. With regard to their reasons for attending these drinking sessions, some 29 percent didn't have any specific reason, which was interpreted by Duran as meaning that they do it because “it is fashionable” and because everybody else is doing it. Some 25.3 percent said they took part “to be with friends”, and 12.64 percent “to meet new people”. Some 7.5 percent did it “because I like it”, 6.2 percent “to have a good time”, and 5.5 percent “to drink”. Curiously, among the reasons for attending these sessions, nobody mentioned cost, which gives the lie to the belief that young people choose to go to these sessions because of the price of drinks in local bars. The poll also revealed that 79 percent of those who take part mainly opt for high alcohol content drinks such as liqueurs, rum, vodka or whisky (85 percent).

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