Shared from Alcohol Policy UK
Released during the recent 2014 Alcohol Awareness Week, the figures indicated that six months after completing a ‘Dry January’, participants were drinking less frequently and drinking less per drinking occasion.
Figures complied by the University of Sussex showed:
- 72% of participants had sustained reduced levels of harmful drinking six months after completing Dry January
- The 23% of people who had “harmful” alcohol consumption when they started Dry January are now in the “low risk” category
- 4% of participants were still dry six months on
With the growing popularity of Dry January and other ‘month off’ campaigns, increasing attention was inevitably focusing on the issue of how helpful such approaches really are for the drinker. The British Liver Trust’s Andrew Langford had previously warned against the appeal of a “quick fix in January” and instead called on people to follow a 3 step liver plan including two or three alcohol free days in every week of the year. Others had queried whether a month of might lead to drinking more in subsequent months.
Varying periods of abstinence play a role in many people’s consumption patterns as shifting life circumstances, cues or interventions may trigger ‘contemplation’ or unconscious change. Alcohol Concern highlight 9.6 million adults in England drink above the guidelines, most of whom are not dependent but might experience alcohol-related health or social problems. A range of benefits were highlighted by Dry January participants including improved sleep, energy, weight loss and saving money.
I was also really heartened to read this:
Government unveils first ‘Dry January’ marketing campaign