Dry January

Although the festive period has barely started, many people are already thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions. And going “dry” for January is something that’s growing in popularity. Dry January is Alcohol Change’s (formerly Alcohol Concern) annual campaign used to encourage people to abstain from alcohol throughout the whole of January.  The campaign was launched in 2011 and since then, the number of participants has grown steadily, with around 4 million Brits going dry in January 2019.

What does alcohol cost you?

According to Alcohol Change, 79% of people who participate in Dry January will save money. In fact, the average UK resident spends £50,000 on alcohol in their lifetime! A survey found 62% of Dry January participants felt they slept better and had more energy. And 49% even lost weight through quitting alcohol.

Drinking too much alcohol can have a serious impact on your health.  Firstly, alcohol affects almost every organ in the body.  Secondly, there is an increased risk of personal injury when intoxicated. On top of this, the short-term effects of alcohol abuse can also include anxiety, difficulty sleeping, depression and high blood pressure.

In the long-term, heavy drinking increases the risk of a number of serious health problems.  These include:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • atrial fibrillation
  • heart disease and stroke
  • cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
  • liver cirrhosis
  • gout
  • depression
  • pancreatitis
  • dementia
  • dangerously high blood pressure
  • nerve damage

To keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a minimum, the current advice is to drink no more than 14 units per week. This is the equivalent of around one and a half bottles of wine, or five pints of 5% strength beer.  Why not try Alcohol Change’s Impact Calculator.  It’s a great tool designed to help you work out how many units and calories your weekly drinking amounts to.