That’s the message from this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week which gets under way on Monday (November 16) on the theme of Kick Start The New You.
BBC Tees Boro expert summariser Neil Maddison got the ball rolling on Tuesday with his pledge to ditch the drink for the whole of January, and a series of events are lined up to get as many people as possible involved.
Middlesbrough Council’s Public Health team will be joining forces throughout the week with a number of different health and treatment agencies to spread the word.
Alcohol Awareness Week encourages drinkers to think about cutting their level of alcohol consumption and even ditch it altogether for the 31 days of January.
Benefits of an alcohol-free month include weight loss, better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, as well as reducing the risk of developing health problems.
Shoppers and town centre visitors will find plenty of help and information on offer when the campaign sets out its stall next Tuesday (November 17) as part of the drive to raise awareness around the risks and health issues associated with alcohol.
The emphasis will be firmly on promoting healthy lifestyles, with a chance to try out fitness bikes and enjoy a free mocktail, tea or coffee.
On Wednesday 18 November 2015 between 12pm-3pm North Ormesby Community Hub will play host to the MFC Foundation Health Bus as part of an open coffee afternoon, showcasing different health and treatment services and the advice available to local residents.
Those taking part in a survey on alcohol habits will also be entered in a prize draw to win gift cards of up to £100, and free one-month trial memberships at the new Middlesbrough Sports Village.
Boro’s Facebook and Twitter pages will be supporting the campaign, with a chance to win free tickets to a forthcoming match, while the public health team will be out in force at Boro next home game against QPR on Friday (November 20).
Edward Kunonga, Middlesbrough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “In Middlesbrough there is a real need to encourage people to change unhealthy drinking behaviours, drink in moderation and take time out to let the body recover.
“Alcohol-related harm has a significant impact on individuals, families and communities, and contributes to premature deaths, preventable illness and avoidable demands on services.”
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “Most of us enjoy a drink, and in moderation it’s an enjoyable and sociable part of many people’s lives.
“But excess consumption can have serious consequence, and is a major concern for the Council, the police and the health services.
“Alcohol Awareness week is all about promoting sensible drinking which is vital if we are to tackle the social and health issues that result from drinking beyond safe limits.”
To sign up to Dry January, find out more about the campaign and to access a wealth of support and advice, visit the Dry January website at www.dryjanuary.org.uk