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Alex Cinus

Brits cut back on booze this January


Thousands of drinkers each year decide to detox in January, and many realise just how much they like or need the occasional alcoholic drink.

Dry January

Alcohol Concern encourages people to give up drinking for 31 days and feel the benefits.

They are helping participants by offering tips on how to stay stone-cold sober for a month.

More people taking part in Dry January

friends drinking tea

In its first year in 2013 nearly 4,500 people signed up to Alcohol Concern’s Dry January appeal, but that number has more than doubled and is steadily rising each year.

Alcohol Concern’s director of campaigns, Emily Robinson, said: "People told us they enjoyed the challenge.

"Some people lost weight, some slept better, almost everyone saved cash and said they would try and reduce their drinking for the rest of the year.

"This is something which is growing and I expect more people to take part every year."

An alcohol-free January "made me feel much better"

couple on a walk

Will Snelling, a 29-year-old information analyst from Bristol, completed his personal challenge and is hoping to do the same next year.

He said: "I thought it was going to be a nightmare and the first week was difficult, but the longer I did the challenge, the easier it was.

"I did it to prove to myself I could do it and that I don’t have to rely on alcohol to have a good time.

"I also thought I needed to give my body the chance to recover after having quite a lot to drink over the festive period.

Snelling added: "We all know the effects of alcohol and what it can do to your body so if you think you’re drinking too much you should give it a go.

"I was surprised how much better I felt in myself when I stopped drinking for a month: I had more energy and overall I just felt better."

Dryathlon raises money for Cancer Research UK

dry january armbands

Running side-by-side with Dry January is Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon campaign, which encourages its "dryathletes" to get sponsored to give up alcohol.

More than £4 million was raised for the campaign in its debut year in 2013 when 35,000 people took part.

Anthony Newman, director of marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: "We're encouraging everyone to bin the booze in the New Year and make January a month of clear heads.

"It is also a good cause as by taking part in Dryathlon, you can raise money for the fight against cancer."

Impact of alcohol in Great Britain

There is a serious message to the detox drive with Alcohol Concern highlighting that alcohol is a casual factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including cancer and depression.

How to get through Dry January

couple shopping

For those taking up the challenge there may be times when the urge to join friends or family in a social drinking session will become overwhelming.

So, here are some tips from Alcohol Concern:

  • Take up a winter sport.
  • Throw a tea party.
  • Treat yourself with the money saved.
  • Take the time to learn something new.

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