The growing problem society has been facing in recent times as a result of the dangerous underage-drinking-fun equation is no secret. There are also many voices raising the alarm about the increasingly younger ages at which these young people try alcoholic beverages for the first time.
Last year’s data provided by the Ministry of Health in Spain itself are a wake-up call to everyone. Questions arise when we discover that according to these same figures, practically half of schoolchildren aged 14 who participated in outdoor drinking parties during last year have suffered at least one acute alcohol poisoning episode? Why is this figure so high? How do they have access to alcohol if it is banned by law? Is today’s society trivializing the effects that alcohol can have on the body and on the development of the youngest?
It is not about demonizing spirits. Not at all. From DIA we have always defended freedom of choice between each and every one of our products and which of course we consider the best in the market in their respective segments. The point is to raise awareness and try to tackle widespread consumption among a segment of the population for whom alcohol intake can be fatal in the long term.
To this end, it is critical to be clear about who are the key players involved in this problem. In first place, the family. Without a fully aware family environment, it is impossible to make those young people realize that consumption at an early age will affect their short-term performance and their long-term development. Secondly, the participation of local bodies. A permissive legislation or an incorrect application of the same allows the attendance to mass outdoor drinking parties or to never ending night events in places where mass consumption occurs, relating the weekend or events with the consumption of alcoholic drinks. Thirdly, actions by businesses, distributors and those in charge of the sale. Without escaping responsibility that corresponds to us regarding the sales in our establishments, we should point out the existence of unorganized distribution stores that do sell alcohol to minors while looking the other way and without asking any questions. We must not forget the role of the hotel industry either.
This is the aim of DIA’s recently launched initiative “Stop Underage Drinking, A Challenge For All”. Involve each and every one of the people, bodies and companies that can and should do something to eradicate a problem that is clearly increasing. We are aware that this is a difficult task that cannot be faced by a single person or entity, thus the need to join forces in a project that we would like to share from DIA. DIA is already working to reinforce the training to communicate the message in a widespread manner; employees, adult consumers, our main target groups, but also minors whom we will address from our sports and social action projects. We also review our procedures and would like to contribute to this important challenge. It’s a long-distance race. We are aware.
In short, we would like to be the starting point, the hinge that opens the door to new projects, joint collaboration and, above all, common success.
We encourage active participation from the company. We must not forget “Stop Underage Drinking, A Challenge For All” and to benefit society as a whole.