In January, tens of thousands across the UK will be taking part in the annual initiative Dry January. Charity Alcohol Concern and others are campaigning for alcohol drinkers who want to cut down or quit for good to go without for 31 days in January. With one in six people taking part in 2016’s Dry January, organisers hope for even more to get involved in 2017.
A month off from alcohol can make a real difference, from improving your body and your sleep, to your self-confidence and your bank balance. The average person spends £50,000 on alcohol in their lifetime – money that could be spent elsewhere. If that’s got you thinking about how much you spend, check out Alcohol Concern’s impact calculator to find out how much you could save from packing in the booze for a month, in terms of both calories and cash.
Plus, just think how much you could save if you were to give up for good! Quitting for a short time through initiatives like Dry January has been shown to give people a better chance of cutting down and stopping overall. Six months on from 2014’s campaign, the University of Sussex researched the progress of 900 participants, finding 72% had reduced harmful drinking episodes and 4% had stayed completely alcohol free!
Not sure you can manage going cold turkey by yourself? Why not get your friends, family or co-workers involved too? Quitting as part of a supportive group can improve your chances even further as you know they’ll be there to offer support and advice in those tough spells.
Alcohol Concern offers a wide range of free resources to keep you motivated throughout Dry January, from information on the benefits of going alcohol-free, to a blog with stories and advice from people who are trying to quit too. There are lots of free posters to print out and put up, and you’ll also find images you can share with your friends on social media. There’s even resources to help you raise money for Alcohol Concern and a choice of 11,000 charities while you quit, either through sponsorship or by donating the money you would have spent otherwise.
Christians Against Poverty is also keen to back you in your quest to quit. 74 CAP Release Groups are currently running in churches around the UK and are here to help people break free from a wide range of life-controlling habits, including alcohol dependency. The course spans eight sessions and offers free emotional and practical support in an environment of security and trust. To find out more about CAP Release Groups, whether you’re interested in signing up or running one through your local church, click here.
If you or anyone you know wants to join in with this year’s Dry January – or if you want help to give up drinking right away – visit the Alcohol Concern website for lots of useful information. Good luck!