THE practice of street drinking, known as the botellón has decreased in Spain by 5 percent over the last four years, and the Balearic Islands is the region of the country where young people indulge in it the least, the University of Valencia reported yesterday.
Petra Maria Perez, the author of research entitled Young people and alcohol, 2010 claimed that the consumption of alcohol by the under-eighteen-year-olds has declined in Spain by 18 percent since 2006.
According to surveys carried out by Perez and her team, 30 percent of Spaniards aged between 15 and 30 confirm that they take part in street drinking parties. Perez said that someone who would typically engage in the practice is a middle class student who lives at home.
While the Balearics holds the lead position for the least number of youngsters who drink in the street (9%), Castilla-La Mancha, said Perez, is the region where under-age participation in the botellón is at its highest with 43 percent. Perez said that the practice, which carries its own health risks, forms part of youth culture in Spanish society and is seen as a social problem by the adult community.
In general, furthered Perez, the young join their fellows in street drinking parties at the weekends. They mostly consume spirits, either on the rocks or mixed with a soft drink. She said that by way of contrast, the consumption of wine, beer and cider amongst young people who are 18 or over is on the increase but usually as part of a meal or a pre-dinner drink.
The research conducted by Perez showed that the majority of the population (97%) believe that educational dissuasion against street drinking, or indeed under-age drinking in total, is the most effective counter measure.