Month-long no booze challenge

Balance and Northumberland County Council are among the organisations that are encouraging residents to ‘try dry’ this January.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 2:33 pm
Representatives of the organisations supporting Dry January in Northumberland. Picture by Lee Dobson Photography.
Representatives of the organisations supporting Dry January in Northumberland. Picture by Lee Dobson Photography.

Last year saw the North East having the highest rate of sign-ups for Dry January in the country and if one in 10 drinkers do the initiative in 2020, this would mean around 195,000 people in the region taking part.

People can sign-up at dryjanuary.org.uk and they will receive regular support emails – with tips and tricks from experts and other participants.

Those supporting Dry January say those taking a month off the booze can look forward to feeling healthier, saving money, sleeping better and losing weight.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “It is far too easy for regular drinking to creep up and for it to turn into a daily habit.

“Many people are becoming more aware of harms of alcohol as a cause of cancer and other diseases and want to reduce their risks.

“Regular drinking can also make us more tired, anxious and less productive.

“Taking some time out can have real positive effects on our health and how we feel.

“After the festive season, Dry January is a chance to give our bodies a chance to recover and to lose weight, feel more alert and get fitter, as well as a chance to take back control of our relationship with alcohol.”

New research commissioned by Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, shows that the reasons for drinking more than planned vary between age groups.

Younger people are more likely to drink more than they wanted to because they feel it makes them more outgoing – 36 per cent of people aged 18-24 – while people of all ages find themselves drinking more than they want as a result of drinking in rounds (20 per cent).

Liz Morgan, the county council’s director of public health, said: “Dry January motivates people to consider the amount of alcohol they’re drinking and help them to make a change.

“For those who successfully complete the initiative, there’s a real sense of achievement at the end of the month and your body will get a rest from alcohol, which can only be good.”