• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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North Yorkshire County Council is backing Dry January – the national campaign from Alcohol Concern encouraging people across the UK to start 2017 booze-free.

Why January? Because after the heady excess of the holiday season, January is the best time to give your body a break. And it’s very simple to do – just swap your alcoholic drinks for something softer in January to experience some amazing health (and wealth) benefits.

Alcohol is the third biggest lifestyle risk factor for disease and death in the UK after tobacco and obesity, and it can contribute to more than 60 medical conditions, including mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Having a break from alcohol for a month can benefit us by improving sleep quality, and reducing stress. It’s also a good way to lose weight (cutting down on alcohol means cutting down on calories) and as well as benefiting your health, cutting back on alcohol has financial benefits.

Research following previous Dry January campaigns showed that two thirds of people who signed up to take part completed the alcohol-free month successfully.  The research also showed that one month on, only a quarter of participants had gone back to their previous drinking habits. From a small thing done by a couple of people on their own, Dry January has become the new norm. Last year 79% of participants reported they saved money, 62% felt they had better sleep and more energy and 49% said they lost weight.

“More and more people are taking part in the Dry January campaign because they appreciate the health benefits it brings,” said County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities and Public Health.

“We really encourage people to think about their overall health and take part in the Dry January campaign. They will certainly see and feel the benefit that drinking less alcohol brings to their health. Small changes can make a big difference. If you feel inspired to take some time out and prove to yourself that you can say no to the tipple this January you can find out more from www.dryjanuary.org.”

“Alcohol-related hospital admissions are increasing all the time, and – shockingly – nearly 200 people die every year in North Yorkshire as a result of alcohol abuse,” said Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire.

“Around a quarter of all people who drink in North Yorkshire are estimated to be drinking at hazardous or harmful levels – this means regularly drinking more than 14 units a week; the same as 6 pints of average strength beer a week”. The DrinkAware unit calculator is a useful tool for working out your weekly alcohol and calorie intake – you can try it out at www.drinkaware.co.uk/unitcalculator

The Dry January campaign supports the work North Yorkshire County Council is doing to encourage sensible drinking and to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to individuals, families, communities and businesses. The County Council is increasing the identification of hazardous drinking by training more front line health professionals to deliver alcohol identification and brief advice (IBA). 20 pharmacies now have staff who are trained to deliver this service across North Yorkshire and are available to offer free advice and guidance on how to cut back on alcohol.

North Yorkshire County Council is also referring and supporting those in most need through the funding of North Yorkshire Horizons, a service which provides treatment and recovery support across the county for adults with drug and alcohol misuse and dependency issues.