Northumberland’s challenge to ditch the booze through January

Liz Morgan, director of public health, Andy Lloyd, head of media and communications at Balance, and Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health.
Liz Morgan, director of public health, Andy Lloyd, head of media and communications at Balance, and Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health.

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is urging people in Northumberland to come together and take on the 2018 Dry January challenge.

Now in its sixth year, Alcohol Concern’s Dry January asks people to put the excesses of the festive period behind them and start the New Year with 31 days off the booze to feel healthier, save money and reset their relationship with alcohol.

With recent findings showing more than one in four people in the North East are drinking above the low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week for both men and women, Dry January encourages people to take a break which can give the body a chance to recover.

Alongside Northumberland County Council, Balance is promoting the many benefits of giving your body a break from booze, including losing weight, sleeping better and saving money.

Director Colin Shevills said: “Dry January can also stop drinking becoming too much of a regular thing – research shows three-quarters of people who complete the month are drinking at lower levels six months on.

“We’re encouraging people to get family, friends and colleagues on board too. It can be a real motivating factor taking on a challenge together and we know that it can make us more likely to succeed.”

Coun Veronica Jones, the county council’s cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health, said: “January is the perfect time to make a healthy start to the year ahead, after many people will have indulged in a drink to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

“We’re urging Northumberland residents to have a go at reducing their alcohol intake and enjoy all the benefits that will bring.”

Visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk for more information.

FACTS AND FIGURES BEHIND SCHEME

PARTICIPATION: A recent YouGov poll found almost one in 10 people in the North East – 168,899 people – are planning on taking part.

COST: Alcohol harm costs the region an estimated £1.01billion every year, including £209million to the NHS and £331million in crime and disorder costs, equating to around £386 for every man, woman and child.