Vomit video warns Spain’s binge drinkers

A shocking new Spanish commercial features a young man vomiting up the body of his girlfriend as a way to highlight the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Vomit video warns Spain's binge drinkers
The makers of the anti-alcohol abuse video say they want its message to hit home hard. Picture: YouTube

The advertisement created by the Spanish anti-drug and alcohol abuse group the Fundación de Ayuda contra la Drogadicción (FAD) shows a drunk young man spewing up the entire body of his girlfriend.

"Every time you get drunk, you push away the people that matter to you, like your girlfriend," the narrator says at the end of the 20-second commercial, which some have labelled as extreme.

But the head of FAD, Ignacio González, has defended content of the commercial, telling Spanish news site lainformation that the problem of alcohol abuse among young people in Spain is "very serious".

He said the reality of young people drinking too much was "more disgusting" than the video itself.

González also defended the video's production valuing, saying that "science fiction cinematography is something young people recognize instantly."

The director of FAD told lainformacion that Spain's drinking habits had changed from "Mediterranean style" to "Nordic-style binge drinking" in the last 25 years.

This was partly the result of much longer opening hours, but also in part a shift to a situation where "being drunk is no longer frowned on".

"We have enthroned drunkenness," said González. "It's almost funny."

The expert also pointed out that young women were more likely to abuse alcohol than their male counterparts. Explaining this, he said his foundation believes young women have a false idea of the idea of equality in Spanish society.

González also pointed out that both peer pressure and the different physiology of women have played a role in this development.

The FAD director said Spain needs to talk openly about its alcohol problem and recognize that "there are a huge number of alcoholics in this country".

But González — who has nothing against a glass of red wine with dinner — is not in favour of tougher regulations such as lifting the minimal age of alcohol consumer to 21.

He argues instead that the current rules need to be properly enforced.

Thirty-six percent of people aged from 14 to 18 admit they have been drunk in the last month, according to the director of FAD. In 2006, that number was 25 percent.

The first FAD commercial in which a young woman spews up her father.

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Spain has second highest rate of daily alcohol drinkers in EU 

More than one in ten Spaniards drink alcohol every day, making them the Europeans who drink most regularly after the Portuguese, new Eurostat data reveals. 

Spain has second highest rate of daily alcohol drinkers in EU 
Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Thirteen percent of people in Spain drink alcohol every day, a similar rate to Italy, where 12 percent enjoy a tipple on a daily basis, and only behind Portugal, where 20 percent of people have an alcoholic drink seven days a week.

That puts Spaniards above the EU average of 8.4 percent daily drinkers, data published by Eurostat in July 2021 reveals. 

This consistent alcoholic intake among Spaniards is far higher than in countries such as Sweden (1.8 percent daily drinkers), Poland (1.6 percent), Norway (1.4 percent), Estonia (1.3 percent) and Latvia (1.2 percent). 

However, the survey that looked at the frequency of alcohol consumption in people aged 15 and over shows that weekly and monthly drinking habits among Spaniards are more in line with European averages. 

A total of 22.9 percent of respondents from Spain said they drunk booze on a weekly basis, 18.3 percent every month, 12.5 percent less than once a month, and 33 percent haven’t had a drink ever or in the last year. 

Furthermore, another part of the study which looked at heavy episodic drinking found that Spaniards are the third least likely to get blind drunk, after Cypriots and Italians.

The Europeans who ingested more than 60 grammes of pure ethanol on a single occasion at least once a month in 2019 were Danes (37.8 percent), Romanians (35 percent), Luxembourgers (34.3 percent) and Germans (30.4 percent). 

The UK did not form part of the study but Ireland is included. 

Overall, Eurostat’s findings reflect how the Spanish habit of enjoying a glass of wine with a meal or a small beer (caña) outdoors with friends continues to be common daily practice, even though 13 percent does not make it prevalent. 

Spaniards’ tendency to drink in moderation also continues to prevail, even though a 2016 study by Danish pharmaceuticals company Lundbeck found that one in six people in the country still drinks too much.