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Health charities encourage drinkers to abstain from alcohol in January

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    Alcohol Concern's Dry January campaign targets social drinkers, while Cancer Research says its Dryathlon is a test of willpower

    As partygoers prepare to nurse their new year hangovers, health charities are urging people to consider staying off alcohol for the rest of the month.

    Alcohol Concern and Cancer Research UK are running fundraising campaigns in which participants are sponsored for abstaining from drink throughout January.

    Alcohol Concern's Dry January 2014 encourages people to avoid alcohol for 31 days and aims to "get people talking and thinking about their drinking".

    People who take part could "lose weight, feel better, save money and make a difference", the charity said. A spokeswoman said thousands have already signed up to the challenge.

    She said the campaign is aimed at social drinkers whose alcohol consumption may have "crept up on them".

    Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: "Many of us think the way we drink isn't a problem, but even having just a few beers after work or a few glasses of wine at home too often can take you over safe limits and store up problems for the future.

    "We're challenging people to take part in Dry January and try giving up booze for 31 days, and if it sounds like a big ask you're exactly the person we want to join us and have a go.

    "It's not about never drinking again, it's just the perfect opportunity for all of us to take a breather and get thinking about our drinking. We think people will feel better, sleep better, save money and they may also lose weight.

    Cancer Research UK's campaign, Dryathlon, is encouraging participants to become "dryathletes" by staying off booze for 31 days while receiving sponsorship from friends and family members.

    The 2013 Dryathlon campaign saw 35,000 dryathletes raise more than £4m for the charity.

    Anthony Newman, director of marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: "We know giving up alcohol and taking part in Dryathlon will really test some people's willpower, but we also know it's something lots of people already do successfully.

    "So, whether you're already planning to give up alcohol for January or looking to take on an extra challenge in the new year, why not sign up to Dryathlon and swap your lager for a latte, safe in the knowledge that the money you raise will be helping us to beat cancer sooner."


    The Guardian
    Press Association
    Monday 30 December 2013
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/30/health-charities-abstain-alcohol-january-dryathlon

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    North East people challenged to stay alcohol free for 31 days

    Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is challenging people to give up the drink for 31 days in support of the Dry January campaign

    [IMGR=''white'']https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36444&stc=1&d=1388488292[/IMGR]After the excesses of the festive season, people in the region are being challenged to stay alcohol free for 31 days.

    Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is encouraging people to temporarily give up the drink in support of Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign.

    Now in its second year, Dry January urges people to consider their alcohol intake and start the New Year with a healthier, sober approach.

    Last year, around two-thirds of those who took part managed to complete the task, with many suggesting that participating had made them think differently about their alcohol consumption.

    Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Many of us are guilty of overdoing it a bit in December so we’re asking people to think about how they plan to start the New Year now, before the temptations takes hold.

    “New Year is the perfect time to take stock of our health, particularly how much alcohol we are drinking, and accepting the challenge posed by Dry January is a fantastic way to reconsider our usual attitudes towards alcohol. Taking a break from drinking or reducing your intake is good for your long term health – but there are also a range of immediate benefits such as feeling better in the mornings, having more energy during the day and possibly losing weight.”

    Accepting the challenge of Dry January means attempting to abstain from alcohol for the entire month. The campaign is being supported by health professionals and public bodies who are championing vintage tea parties and other activities as an alternative to alcohol-fuelled nights in January.

    Cabinet member for health at Gateshead Council, Mary Foy, said: “Alcohol is responsible for anti-social behaviour, ill health and significant cost to the local economy and NHS.

    “We would encourage everyone to try Dry January to see what difference it makes to you to be alcohol free.”

    Dry January is not a medical detox programme and should not be attempted by those with an alcohol dependency problem, anyone considering reducing their alcohol intake in this situation should always seek medical advice first.

    Coun David Stockdale, deputy cabinet member for public health, culture, leisure and libraries at Newcastle City Council, said: “It’s good to have a break from the booze occasionally, and dry January is a great chance to ‘go dry’ for a month, saving money and improving your health.”



    The Journal
    North East News
    By Helen Rae
    Photograph of Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, North East Alcohol Office
    31 December 2013
    http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/north-east-people-challenged-stay-6455827
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