The intervention model for application in Palma will be centred in public drinking environments including streets, parks and beaches; as well as binge drinking in open-air events celebrated in open-public places. This practice, known among Spanish youngsters as ‘botellon’ – big gatherings of young people for drinking in public – has become popular during the last few years contributing to the normalization of alcohol consumption and its extension to other contexts and practices, and it is the generator of many health and safety problems.
The needs assessment carried out in Palma has shown that 57% of our adolescents regularly consume alcohol (70% for the 16-17 age group). More in detail, 15.5% of the adolescents between 14-15 years of age and around 35% for the 16-17 age group regularly binge drink and get drunk; and 25.1% consume the alcohol in these hot spots. Main sources for provision of alcohol consumed in public environments are supermarkets (23.4%), food and convenience stores (17.1%) and hypermarkets (9.6%).
The needs assessment has also elucidated some intermediate factors that contribute to the problem including: gaps in the current legislation on alcohol and the use of public environments, weakness of the law enforcement methods, wide alcohol availability at commercial and social level, and generalized social acceptance of alcohol use.
Therefore, the model designed for the intervention will focus on strategies oriented to influence those intermediate factors.
A tailor made intervention is being developed alongside with the Municipality of Palma with the contribution of key agents such as parents and neighbourhood organizations and representatives of the alcohol industry. A pilot implementation of the intervention will take place in the following months. The intervention will be evaluated to assess outcomes as well as impending and boosting factors.