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Teenage Issues

Information on some of the issues which affect young people including teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use: where to find help and advice and the laws surrounding them in Spain...

INJUVE publishes health guides on matters relevant to young people, including information on anorexia and bulimia and mental health.

  • The Ministry of Health has English translations of some of its health guides: Click here
  • Information also from ERYICA (European Youth Information and Counselling Agency): Click here

Teenagers and alcohol

Spain has similar youth alcohol issues to many other European countries including France and the UK. Government quoted figures claim that 65 percent of 14 to 18 year olds in Spain drink regularly.

  • The Ministry of Health is responsible for monitoring alcohol related issues and publishes information on its website to discourage young people from drinking: Click here (in Spanish)

The minimum drinking age is 18, but 16 year olds may buy beer and wine if accompanied by their parents. Drinking in public areas is illegal and the police may fine those who break this law. The Government is currently proposing changes to legislation relating to the legal age for buying alcohol.

Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholicos Anonimos) is active in Spain and there is an English-language version of its website. There are also English language meetings in many areas.

  • Full details can be found on the website: Click here

Teenagers and drugs

Figures from ESPAD (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs) survey released in 2009 show that although drug use is wide spread among young people in Spain, the numbers of young people smoking and taking illicit drugs has fallen.

Drug use and possession for personal use of some drugs does not constitute a criminal offence under Spanish law. However, public consumption is penalised with fines. One clear difference is Spain's marijuana policy - it encourages marijuana smokers to grow their own product. Personal consumption and home cultivation have been decriminalised, but buying or selling marijuana/hashish remains a criminal offence.

EU Policy, "Action Plan on Drugs 2009-2012" aims to reduce the demand and supply of drugs within Europe.

  • For information from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: Click here
  • For further information on Spain's drug policy: Click here

Teenage pregnancy

Spain has traditionally had low rates of teenage pregnancy compared to other European countries. The family planning association, FPFE (Federacion de Planificcacion Familiar de Espana) has a website section aimed at young people with information on regional centres.

  • For regional contact details: Click here (in Spanish)

Contraception is rarely free in Spain. The morning after pill (la pildora del dia despues) is widely used and is sold on prescription at pharmacies. Clinical abortion is legal and in some instances a proportion of the cost is covered by social security.

Teenagers and smoking

In Spain, the age at which tobacco can legally be bought and smoked is 18.

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Now in its fifteenth year of business, AngloINFO is the world's leading network of expat information websites - with over three million monthly visitors from around the world.
We have an established network of 88 local websites in 41 countries with many more in development.

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