With Christmas Day behind us, many people will be looking to the New Year as a time for reflection and change.
But how many people will be including Dry January among their New Year’s resolutions for 2023?
The annual public health initiative, organised by Alcohol Change UK, sees people across the UK pledging to give up alcohol for the month of January, with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing in both the short- and long-term.
In this blog, we take a closer look at Dry January, how it began and the many benefits of reducing your alcohol intake.
What is Dry January?
Dry January was founded by the charity Alcohol Change UK in 2013, to encourage people to abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month of January.
Following on from Christmas and New Year – a time when drinking to excess is commonplace thanks to festive parties and New Year celebrations – January is considered the ideal month to reset your body and mind following a period of over-indulgence.
Participants are also encouraged to secure sponsors for their efforts, with funds raised for Alcohol Change UK being put towards vital research into the physical, mental, and broader societal impact of alcohol consumption.
According to official figures from the charity, out of those who have participated in Dry January in the past:
- 86% said they saved money
- 70% said they slept better
- 70% continued with healthier drinking habits long after the campaign was over
You can sign up for Dry January now by visiting the Alcohol Change UK website.
What are the benefits of doing Dry January?
Studies have shown that there are many health benefits associated with taking a break from alcohol.
Research conducted by the Royal Free Hospital in 2018 and published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that just one alcohol-free month can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and reduce levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Reducing your alcohol intake in the long term can also give you more energy, help you lose weight more easily, and help you improve your interpersonal relationships.
However, it is important to note that the benefits of Dry January can vary significantly, depending on an individual’s level of alcohol dependency.
If you have a severe alcohol addiction, quitting drinking suddenly can have dangerous consequences for your health and can even be fatal.
For this reason, it is recommended that anyone struggling with alcohol dependency speaks to their GP, as they will be able to provide advice on reducing alcohol intake safely.
Tips for completing Dry January
If you are planning to take part in Dry January, there are a few simple tips you can follow to help make the month a successful one:
Bin the booze
Clear your home of any alcoholic drinks, so that you are not tempted to break your pledge.
Think about any upcoming social occasions that are likely to involve alcohol and decide how you are going to approach the situation in advance.
Will you be opting for alcohol-free alternatives such as mocktails and 0% beers? Or simply sticking to soft drinks? Having an idea in mind will help you avoid temptation when the time comes.
Have a support network
Why not ask a friend or loved one if they would like to join you for an alcohol-free month? Having someone else on board can make it easier to follow through on your pledge.
If you cannot find someone to participate, it can still help to tell those close to you about your plans, for extra encouragement.
If you enjoy a social drink, you will find you can save a significant amount of money by going alcohol-free in January.
Consider putting that money to one side and treating yourself to something special. Knowing that you are one step closer to buying something you will love can be a great motivation.
Alcohol testing you can trust
As an accredited laboratory providing alcohol testing for members of the public, the legal sector, and the workplace sector, we know all too well the impact that alcohol misuse can have on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Our alcohol testing services are trusted by private individuals, family law professionals, social workers and employers looking to learn more about an individual’s alcohol consumption.
We offer a full alcohol testing service using a variety of methods including point-of-care breath testing, blood analysis, nail clippings, hair analyses and alcohol monitoring using SCRAM CAM®.
For more information on alcohol testing for a range of matters including for peace of mind, official purposes, legal reasons and in the workplace, explore our website or contact our friendly and discreet Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email email@example.com.
Alcohol Testing Services
Find out more about alcohol testing services, direct from our UKAS-accredited laboratory.