Northumberland residents urged to give up the booze and sign up for Dry January

Northumberland residents are being encouraged to sign up for Dry January and go alcohol-free for a month.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 12:00 pm
Cllr Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for adult well-being, with Sue Taylor, head of alcohol policy for Fresh and Balance and Liz Morgan, director of public health.

Balance with Northumberland County Council are encouraging people to download Alcohol Change UK’s free app, Try Dry, and take part in Dry January.

The North East in 2020-21 saw the highest rate of Dry January sign ups of any region.

Northumberland County Council’s director of public health, Liz Morgan, said: “We are happy to support this great campaign, by going dry for one month, people can change their relationship with alcohol.

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“Cutting down on alcohol consumption can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

“Dry January is a great motivator for people to think about the amount of alcohol they’re drinking and help them to make a healthy change.

"I would encourage everyone to give it a go so they can experience the health benefits first-hand and maybe consider reducing the amount of alcohol they drink in the future.”

Cllr Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for adult wellbeing, added: “Dry January is a great opportunity to make a healthy start to the year, and to rethink our attitude towards alcohol.

“Giving up alcohol, even for a short time, can have many benefits including improved sleep, better skin and weight loss all while saving money.

“We’re urging Northumberland residents to have a go at taking part and enjoy the feeling of wellbeing that it will bring.”

It’s estimated around four in 10 people in the North East - or around 855,000 people - have been drinking above the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance of no more than 14 units a week.

As well as supporting Dry January, Balance, the North East Alcohol programme will also be launching for the first time a New Year health harms alcohol campaign to warn that alcohol causes cancers of the breast, bowel, mouth and throat. It comes as the region has seen the worst rate of alcohol deaths in the country.

Susan Taylor, head of alcohol policy for Balance, said: “It can be hard to break drinking habits but millions of people will be doing Dry January and hoping to feel the benefits.

“However stressful things might feel, alcohol is never the answer.”

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