Council gets behind a booze break for the New Year

Posted on: 18 December 2015

Over the festive period, figures show two in five drinking more than they normally would, and today (Friday 18 December) marks Britain’s booziest day of the year with sales in alcohol set to peak.  Devon County Council is getting behind a campaign to encourage drinkers to take a break in January.

Last year’s Friday before Christmas saw sales of alcohol rise in Britain’s pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels by 142% – and this does not take into account alcohol sales from shops.

Research carried out on behalf of Public Health England shows more than half of us (53%) drink alcohol over the Christmas period even when we don’t necessarily want to, and of those who drink more than they usually do over the festive season, one in four (27%) agree that they feel guilty for drinking more.

And a significant proportion of drinkers, (30%) agree that they feel run down as a result of drinking.

People are being encouraged to take a break from booze and to consider having a Dry January in the New Year to reset their drinking habits.   The campaign, run by Alcohol Concern and supported by Public Health England, showed this year 67% of participants sustained reduced levels of drinking six months after completing Dry January.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said:  “January is a good time to give your body a break, and cutting down the amount of alcohol you consume is a good start.  A month off alcohol is really good for your health. It can boost your energy levels and improves your sleep, but it also gives you a sense of achievement and can save you money too.

“And even over the Christmas period, people shouldn’t feel pressured to drink excess amounts – it’s perfectly acceptable to alternative between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink, and it helps avoid wiping out the next day from a hangover.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Improving Health and Wellbeing, said:  “I’d encourage people to take part in Dry January – last year 85% reported a great sense of achievement after completing a month off alcohol.

“I took part last year and have barely drunk any alcohol since, as I felt so much better without alcohol, but for others it doesn’t mean stopping completely, but just having a break for a month after the excesses of the Christmas period.”

Sign up for Dry January and register for tips and tools to make the most of the month.


2 comments on “Council gets behind a booze break for the New Year

  1. David Collins says:

    Dry January looks to be a great initiative. The news is full of the negative effects of alcohol but it’s counter-cultural to deal with it. Let’s change that. Let’s make the UK a safer and happier place, with fewer hangovers, fewer Friday night fights, and fewer road deaths in 2016.

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