Alex999, I'm sorry about your uncles. That's tragic, but Spanish culture is quite different from Anglo-Saxon culture. (I assume you're an Anglophone Canadian, right?) There's a lot, lot less alcoholism in Spain because Spanish people don't drink to get completely shitfaced like a lot of Anglophones (English, American, Irish, etc.) do. It's cultural, and also somewhat explained by the weather. Alcohol abuse tends to be worse almost everywhere the weather is colder and darker. Spaniards start drinking earlier, and most know how to control themselves. Unlike in England, for example, where you can see drunk people fighting and vomiting in the streets every weekend, you really won't see that kind of behavior in most Spanish-speaking countries.
I don't think location. Has much to do with alcohol abuse. Half of the u.s. is south of Spain. I don't think there is more alcoholism in Maine than Florida,
I don't know about England or Canada, but outside of party college towns, I haven't seen much public drunkedness. Maybe that s because we get into cars and drive instead of walking on the streets.
I can't speak for Spain, I don't know anything about drinking there. I just don't approve of giving drugs to children no matter how innocent or fun it seems to be. I understand that Rafa probably doesn't see it the way I do, but I can't agree with him on everything.