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Areas Social action Youth Promoting healthy alternatives for Formentera nightlife

Promoting healthy alternatives for Formentera nightlife


The Formentera Council, as member of Balearic Islands Nightlife Platform and as the organisational body responsible for the prevention of addictive behaviour and the promotion of its healthy alternatives, has promoted the implementation of a series of directives aimed at the commissions charged with local holiday organisation, the goal being to avoid the problems associated with recreational nightlife from the medical, community and safety standpoints.

The initiative is a response to the large number of popular celebrations organised in Formentera, especially in summer, including concerts and parties that imply the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Bars constitute a space which is central in these popular celebrations, not only with regard to fundraising but also with respect to attracting people from the public. In volunteer efforts, neighbours participate in the organisation of different events and take charge of all necessary elements of the festivities. This in turn impacts the functioning of the bars during such events, which, not based on formal professional activity, tend to undergo a loosening of limits with regard to minors of age, operating hours and consumption of alcohol.

The celebration of these traditional festivities and holidays brings – as an intrinsic effect – a massive affluence of visitors and residents, influencing the general tone of the parties (the consumption of alcohol and the disinhibition of eventgoers, in detriment to the cultural and historical backdrop of the events) and affecting an inherent increase in vehicle traffic and in the consumption of other substances.

Add this to the conclusions drawn from a study conducted by the prevention team of the Projecte Jove Balears (Balearic Youth Project) in April 2011 on the consumption of alcohol and other substances by the resident population in general and minors in particular. The study concluded that occasional alcohol consumption among youth in Formentera is higher than in the rest of the Balearic Islands.
A heightened consumption among youth of Formentera
According to a study carried out in 2011, on Formentera the consumption of alcohol at some point in time between the ages of 14 and 18 is 90%, a figure higher than both national and Balearic totals. Seventy-nine point four percent of 14 year olds have consumed alcohol at some point in their life and this figure, by 16, grows to 94.4%.

Among teenagers ages 14 and 15, more than half had consumed alcohol within the thirty previous days (52.8%), while 30% of youth between 16 and 18 consume alcohol exclusively at the weekend.

At this age (16 to 18 years old), weekly alcohol consumption (three or more days) reaches 22.6%, clearly higher than the national average (15.6%).

In Formentera, drug consumption begins at earlier agers (14.6) than the rest of Spain (15.2) and the Balearic community (15).

For these reasons, the local administration is recommending the adoption of a series of directives regarding authorisation permits for the sale of alcohol such bars. The objective is to make explicit the prohibition of alcoholic beverages to minors and to those individuals demonstrating symptoms of abuse, reinforcing this with signed commitments by bar representatives, all those in collaboration and all volunteers that serve alcohol as well.

In consonance with these objectives, and through the proposal of viable alternatives, the Council wishes to favour the raising of funds not dependent on the sale of alcohol. Likewise, it intends to inform residents of the risks associated with the consumption of alcohol and other drugs and of healthy activity, using informational stands to this end.

Nightlife Platform
The Council of Formentera is one of the institutions forming the Nightlife Platform, founded in 2011 by the Balearic Government's Department of Health, Family and Social Well-Being, across the General Direction of Health and Consumption and the Balearic Islands Addiction and Dependency Plan (PADIB), with the support of IREFREA (European Institute of Preventative Studies) as the scientific and technical secretary.

The platform considers its first goal “the elaboration of an analytical document, with the consensus of the industry, public administrations and organisations based in civic society, which allows a treatment of problems related to recreational nightlife activity from health, community and safety – and quality and image – perspectives”. This consensus consisted in commitments by all involved sectors.


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