A botellon on a summer night in Palma. | Pedro Prieto

A study by alcohol and drug dependency charity Projecte Home reveals that almost 60,000 people in the Balearics are in effect addicted to alcohol. The consumption by 58,000 of the population is "problematic and intensive", as they are hooked on a legal substance which is tolerated and accepted by society.

The charity reports that 78% of people in the Balearics have drunk alcohol in the past twelve months, that 36% have smoked tobacco and that 25% have tried cannabis.

As Projecte Home celebrates its thirty-second anniversary, it is calling for initiatives to prevent abusive consumption of alcohol. There are agreements regarding prevention for the workplace and in public administrations, but they tend to be set aside, notes the charity's director, Jesus Mullor.

The alcohol addict who typically needs help is in late middle age. A process of social drinking over decades has resulted in becoming an alcoholic.

The majority of people who attend the charity's programme are women aged between 50 and 55 and who drink alone at home.