Daily Archives: 02/01/2015

Dry January impacts drinking through the year

Shared from Alcohol Policy UK

Alcohol Concern recently announced research shows many drinkers attempting a ‘Dry January’ make lasting changes to their drinking, even those who do not successfully complete the whole month off.

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

The Government plans to harness the ‘Dry January’ phenomenon that has sprung up in recent years with a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging social drinkers to give up alcohol for a month.

In a first, Public Health England has teamed up with charity Alcohol Concern, which owns the trademark for the term ‘Dry January’, to run a £500,000 digital, press and radio campaign, created by M&C Saatchi.  The digital campaign includes a website, Twitter feed and Facebook page offering tips and encouragement to those taking part. 
PHE marketing director Sheila Mitchell explained that using “moments” such as its Stoptober drive, which urges smokers to give up for during the month of October, had “proved to be really successful for us.  Last year there was a lot of ‘talkability’ about Dry January so we wondered whether there was a way we could turbo-charge it and blow it up into something more people do,” she said.
So if you’d like to turbo-charge the changes to your drinking patterns and behaviours then why not take a look at my  Udemy online course which you can access here?  There is free preview material available so that you can see if this style of course is right for you.  Also for the next month the course is being offered with a 50% discount at only $50 (£32) with lifetime access so you can use it to support not just this January but next January and every one after it too!
PS You may be having deja-vu about this post.  I accidentally sent it out on the 9th December when I was writing it to go up today.  Please feel free to comment now you’re not getting a 404 error! 🙂