Wave goodbye to booze and join the millions going dry this January

Oxfordshire County Council is encouraging staff and residents across the county to take part in Dry January and wave goodbye to alcohol for a month.

Teams and individuals across the organisation are pledging to take part in the annual flagship behavioural change campaign of Alcohol Concern, the national charity working to help reduce the problems that can be caused by alcohol.

According to YouGov poll results 1 in 6 people in the UK attempted a Dry January in 2016 and Alcohol Concern report 79% of participants save money and 49% lose weight.

To help staff learn more about the benefits of giving up alcohol for a month, Alcohol Concern will be visiting County Hall, Oxford on 13 December and Samuelson House, Banbury on 20 December to serve up some delicious alcohol alternatives including sham-pagne and mocktails and dish out tips on the health and wealth bonuses of a dry month.

Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Dry January isn’t about trying to convince people to give up drinking for good, it’s about trying to make people reassess their relationship with alcohol and remind them of the positive impacts of reducing your alcohol intakes such as weight loss, saving money, and overall improved health and wellbeing.

“While many of us may drink more than usual over the festive period, all year round over 9 million people in the UK are drinking more than the recommended allowance and every hour there is an alcohol-related death. It’s not uncommon to be drinking more than you think you are so I’m extremely pleased to see so many people in Oxfordshire already signed up to take part in 2017.”

Current government guidelines advise consuming no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Regularly drinking more than the recommended weekly allowance of alcohol can contribute to very serious health conditions including liver disease, heart disease, and cancers of the mouth, throat and breast.

Carole Stow is Marketing and Consultation Manager at Oxfordshire County Council and taking part in Dry January. She said: “I’m taking part because I simply didn’t realise that enjoying a few glasses of wine a couple of times a week takes me above the recommended weekly allowance.

“I know taking part will definitely save me a bit of cash and I’m really looking forward to finding out if I notice some of the other benefits I’ve heard about like getting a better night’s sleep and feeling more energised.”

To sign up for Dry January or download the ap visit www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/dry-january

To learn more about how to drink safely please visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/safedrinking