Take a break, have a Dry January

Somerset County Council’s is encouraging drinkers to take a break and have a Dry January. (1)

Dry January is a campaign by Alcohol Concern, supported by Public Health England (PHE) in 2016, aimed at the social drinker, encouraging them to give up alcohol for a month.

Latest figures from PHE and Alcohol Concern show that two in five (40 per cent) who drink more than usual over the festive break admit they feel in need of a break from alcohol. (2)

Over two million drinkers had a Dry January nationally this year and figures show that 4,150 people signed up in the South West region and 378 drinkers from Somerset. (3)

Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet member with responsibility for health at Somerset County Council, said: “Dry January isn’t about aiming to stop drinking altogether it just encourages a short break from alcohol.

“It’s an opportunity to break a habit and to feel some of the health benefits of not drinking such as losing weight, getting a better night’s sleep and having more energy. Plus it also helps to save money to spend on something else.

“Two thirds of the participants from the last Dry January were successful at going the whole month and 85 per cent of people who signed up to the campaign nationally reported a great sense of achievement after completing a month off alcohol. If you were one of them why not do it again. You could always pull a team together with your workmates or a group of friends.”

Jackie Ballard, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “In the run up to Christmas many people start drinking more than usual as they celebrate the festive season with parties and ‘get-togethers’. Dry January is an incredible opportunity to just give your body a break.”

Anyone wanting to talk to someone confidentially about their drinking can call Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service on 0300 303 87 88.

To find out more about Dry January go to http://www.dryjanuary.org.uk or follow on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DryJanuary or Twitter @dryjanuary and use the hashtag #dryjanuary
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For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

1. Dry January is a campaign by Alcohol Concern supported by PHE in 2016 aimed at the social drinker http://www.dryjanuary.org.uk

2. Online omnibus survey with a representative sample of 720 alcohol drinkers aged 18-64 in England in December 2015, conducted by TNS BMRB. For the purpose of this survey, alcohol drinkers are defined as those who ‘often’ or ‘occasionally’ drink alcohol in a typical year.

3. Research from the South West found that 4,150 people signed up to Dry January in the South West region, of whom 378 were from Somerset – so a great effort in Somerset. Evaluation of Dry January 2015, Public Health England South West – Key Findings Report, Alcohol Concern March 2015

Lower risk drinking levels are:

• Men no more than 3-4 units per day on a regular* basis
• Women no more than 2-3 units per day on a regular* basis
*regular means every day

Dry January is a national campaign from Alcohol Concern supported by Public Health England and is not targeting people who are dependent on alcohol.

For more information on alcohol, including details of services around the country go to the Somerset Drug and Alcohol Partnership website at http://www.somersetdap.org.uk

To view all of our news releases, please visit http://www.somersetnewsroom.com

The SCC Communications Team are also on social media:
http://www.twitter.com/somersetcouncil
http://www.facebook.com/somersetcountycouncil
http://www.flickr.com/somersetcountycouncil
http://www.youtube.com/yoursomerset

To find out who the elected Somerset County Councillor is for a particular area, simply visit http://www.somerset.gov.uk/councillors-and-democracy/councillors/somerset-county-councillors/