Alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression, seven types of cancer; it is also the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability.
Current medical recommendations are to drink no more than 14 units per week, spread over three or more days, and with at least two days off. However, many people do not follow the guidance and a lot more alcohol is consumed.
Dry January is an annual movement run by the charity Alcohol Change UK through which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January. The idea for the campaign was born in 2012 when several people working for the charity began to think about their drinking habits and the benefits of having a break from drinking, especially after Christmas.
The first Dry January started in 2013 with 4,000 people. A debate about the usefulness of giving up alcohol for a month ensued and alcohol behaviour-change expert Dr Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex volunteered to survey those taking part in Dry January to study the effects.
Six months after the campaign finished, seven out of ten people were found to have continued to drink less riskily than before.
Over the next few years, more and more people took up ‘Dry January’ and in 2019 the new app Try Dry was launched.
Thinking about your drinking?
Many people feel like they are drinking a bit too much, or too often, or could just do with some time off. A month off alcohol is the perfect way to reset your relationship with alcohol. Research shows that it only takes three weeks to break a habit, so this could be your route to happier, healthier drinking long-term.
Reasons to try dry
A month alcohol-free has a lot of benefits: research published in the British Medical Journal in 2018 found that a month off alcohol lowers blood pressure, reduces diabetes risk, lowers cholesterol, helps with weight loss and reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we do not need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. You can take a month off alcohol anytime and there is support available, but why not join a global community to make a change this January?
- Download the free Try Dry app to track your units, calories and money saved, whilst gaining some added motivation every day.
- Check out the Dry January blog for lots of tips and tricks for a dry month.
Dry January can change lives! Get online to find all the information, hint’s n’ tips and get the app.