Established in 2013 by the UK charity Alcohol Change, Dry January is a campaign which has the intention of changing the conversation about alcohol. Taking part in the campaign offers people the chance to experience a hangover free month, save money and even reduce the waistline by ditching alcohol for 31 days.
6.5 million people took part in the biggest dry January ever in 2021, and participation continues to grow each year.
Why do Dry January? Even if you do not consider yourself a heavy drinker, giving up alcohol for a month can have huge benefits. According to Alcohol Change, 70% of people sleep better, 86% of people save money, and 65% of people notice generally improved health.
According to research published in 2018 by the Royal Free Hospital, a month off alcohol was found to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol and reduce levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Allowing yourself to be alcohol free for 31 days can show us that we don’t need alcohol to socialise, have fun or to relax. It can be a great way to start the year and a tool to use to manage our drinking and make better decisions about when we drink and how much throughout the rest of the year.
Dry January can have plenty of benefits for you, but you can use it to make a difference to others too. In the UK, one person every hour dies as a result of alcohol. At Alcohol Change, they work hard to end the harm caused by alcohol – not by being totally against it, but by changing attitudes, creating conversation and by saving lives. You can help in that fight – you could donate the money which would have been spent on alcohol throughout the month, or you could get sponsored. By asking friends and family to sponsor you, it is a great way to add some extra motivation while raising money for an amazing cause.
If you would like to find out more about Dry January or Alcohol Change, visit www.alcoholchange.org.uk