Council of Mallorca officials involved in the programme. | Teresa Ayuga

0

The pandemic is said to have led to increased consumption of alcohol and drugs by young people in Mallorca. The use of drugs is reckoned to be among the highest in Spain. Add to this the free time that students have in summer and a calendar of non-stop parties until September, and the Council of Mallorca, for one, believes that this is a risky combination, exacerbated by this being the first post-pandemic summer season following restrictions, cancellations and clubs being closed.

The Council's department for youth affairs has launched a plan aimed at tackling alcohol and drug abuse as well as preventing gender-based violence, homophobia and risky sexual practices.

At present, the plan's programme includes information activities at three clubs - Es Gremí and Sa Possessió in Palma and Factoria de So in Santa Maria - a couple of music festivals, and fiestas in Alcudia, Algaida, Colonia Sant Pere, Esporles, Inca and Valldemossa.

Àlex Segura, the director of youth affairs, says that the idea is "to offer healthier leisure alternatives, prevent risk behaviours and to provide tools to manage conflicts when going out". "For example, if you are at a party, you annoy residents and they rebuke you, do not confront them. If you want to get drunk or use drugs, the programme's techniques will tell you - 'if that is what you want, at least do it this way in order to avoid an unnecessary problem'."

The plan is similar to one that has been working successfully in the Madrid region, Alicia Bustos, its coordinator, saying that if young people do look for information, this is usually prohibitive - don't do this. "We don't work like that. We are there to inform, to offer alternatives and to dissuade. The final decision is up to the individual."