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Health Matters: Dry January

Health Matters: Dry January
08 January 2020

 

 

Dr Ian Hulme, GP with Meadowside Medical Centre, Congleton and clinical lead for substance misuse at NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Dry January

Lots of us may have drank a little bit too much over the past few weeks, after all it’s important you celebrate Christmas and New Year, but a month off alcohol is a great way to start the year and a perfect way to reset your relationship with alcohol.

A three-week hiatus is enough to break a habit and it’s no different for alcohol. This could be your route to a happier and healthier relationship with alcohol long term.

There are some real health benefits to giving up alcohol. These include:

  • Reducing your diabetes risk
  • Lowering your cholesterol
  • Reducing levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

During Dry January last year 88 per cent of participants saved money, 71 per cent slept better and 58 per cent lost weight.

While it’s great if you decide to stop drinking for a month, it’s just as important to have a sensible relationship with alcohol long-term. This may mean that you have non-drinking days such as weekdays.

At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a drink at some stage in January, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. If you can reduce your consumption this month you’ve done well although, you’ll feel bigger benefits if you go the whole month alcohol free.

Although Dry January is something for you, you might consider helping Alcohol Change UK, which runs the campaign, by donating the money you’ve saved or a percentage of it. This will support the charity’s work to stop 20 people a day dying from alcohol-related problems.

You can also help by bringing Dry January to your workplace or community.

Signing up is easy. All you have to do is go to https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/dry-january/sign-up-for-dry-january.