Each year, thousands of people across the UK go alcohol free for Dry January, a national campaign to improve drinking habits across Britain.
The benefits of going dry for 31 days include better sleep, increased energy levels, improved mental health and concentration, a better bank balance and an amazing sense of achievement.
You do not have to be a dependent drinker for alcohol to affect your health. People who steadily drink too much, too often, (exceeding recommended guidelines of alcohol consumption) can risk both physical and mental health. Dry January is an opportunity to take a break, reset drinking habits and save money too.
Alcohol consumption is linked to more than 200 medical conditions, including circulatory and digestive diseases, liver disease and several cancers, to name a few. Within Somerset there are notably high numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions amongst those aged under 40.
Somerset Council’s Public Health team have curated an online self-assessment tool called ‘What’s your score?’ The Somerset Council website helps individuals evaluate their alcohol intake and identify if they are drinking too much. The team are encouraging residents to sign up to Dry January and discover the many benefits of going alcohol-free.
Cllr Adam Dance, Executive Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity said:
“Dry January offers us an opportunity to rejuvenate our bodies and prioritize our well-being post the festive celebrations.
“It’s easy for casual drinking to escalate into a daily routine, and taking a break can significantly impact our health and wellbeing.
“I would encourage everyone to give Dry January a go, perhaps with family or friends for support, so they can experience these benefits first hand and consider reducing the amount of alcohol they drink in the future.”
If you drink heavily regularly, Dry January may not be for you, check with your GP or our local alcohol service, Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS), delivered by the charity Turning Point, who provide free and confidential support for people wanting to make changes to their relationship with alcohol. (0300 303 8788 or visit the Somerset Drug and Alcohol service website.
Additional, support and resources are availing through Alcohol Change UK’s ‘Try Dry’ app.