Dry January could make you healthier all year round

Dry January could make you healthier all year round

Published by George Sharpe at 1:26pm 2nd January 2020.

Public Health Dorset say going alcohol-free for January could make you feel better all year.

If you're daunted by the thought of signing up to a year long resolution, Public Health Dorset and LiveWell Dorset are encouraging you to try going dry just for January.

They say going alcohol free for 31 days could change your relationship with alcohol and lead to long term benefits.

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said: 

"Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us we don't need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise, and Dry January offers a ready-made response to anyone who tries to pressure us to drink. Strong evidence tells us that signing up for Dry January helps people - even heavy drinkers - to drink more healthily all year round."

610 people in Dorset had a cancer linked to drinking between 2015 and 2017.

Alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. Cutting back reduces your risk of developing these conditions.

Public Health Dorset claim people who pledge to try dry with LiveWell are twice as likely to make it through the month compared with people who try to go it alone. 

Dorset Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, Cllr Laura Miller said:

"National guidelines say that we should not drink more than 14 units a week. It's recommended these units are consumed over three days or more.

"Taking part in Dry January can help you change your relationship with alcohol. You don't have to do it alone. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join you. And LiveWell Dorset will be there to help. I am taking part myself!"

They say if you want to cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink but are struggling you can:

  • Have several drink-free days each week
  • Pace yourself - limit the number of units you have each day
  • Alternate your alcoholic drinks with alcohol free options
  • Remember to eat
  • Track your units
  • Remember: It's fine to say no.

They're encouraging us to keep track of our habits by using LiveWell Dorset's Habit Hacker, which you can find here.

If you feel your relationship with alcohol is harming your life, or that you are misusing alcohol, Dorset has access to a number of services that can support you.