Over 3.1 million people in the UK to ditch the booze for January 2018

9 January 2018 12:36pm

A recent YouGov poll, commissioned by charity Alcohol Concern, has revealed that an estimated 3.1 million people in the UK are planning to do Dry January in 2018. They will ditch the booze for one month to feel healthier, save money and re-set their relationship with alcohol.

Alcohol costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion each year, which amounts to £120 for every taxpayer. Dry January is run by national charity Alcohol Concern, which merged with Alcohol Research UK in April to become an even stronger advocate for a world in which alcohol causes no harm.

The poll of 2,086 participants showed up some other interesting trends:

  • The group most likely be planning to do Dry January this year are those with children aged 12-16, as well as those with three or more children in their household (11%).
  • Those aged 35-54 were most likely to be planning to do Dry January (7%).
  • Northern Ireland is the area of the UK where people are most likely to be planning to do Dry January (10%), closely followed by the North East (8%).
  • Those working full-time are more likely to do Dry January (7%) than those who do not work, who are working part-time, full-time students or retired.
  • People who have tried Dry January in the past are more likely to want to sign up for support, suggesting a higher proportion see its value compared to people who have not previously attempted Dry January.

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research UK, said:

“Dry January is a national campaign which changes lives, giving people the impetus and support they need to re-set their relationship with alcohol for January and beyond. The benefits are astounding: 49% of people lose weight, while 62% sleep better and a whopping 79% save money.

“Alcohol is the biggest cause of death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK – but these tragedies are all totally avoidable. Dry January is growing year-on-year as more people across the country decide to take control of their drinking and reap the benefits, both in how they feel now and for their future health.”

Public Health England has endorsed Dry January, saying:

"Dry January is based on sound behavioural principles and our previous evaluation of the campaign shows that for some people it can help them re-set their drinking patterns for weeks or even months after completing the challenge."

Two-thirds of people who attempt Dry January make it through the month without drinking, while 72% maintain lower levels of harmful drinking than before Dry January six months later.

You can sign up for Dry January and find out more at dryjanuary.org.uk.

Benefits of Dry January

  • Feel healthier – alcohol puts strain on our bodies, can disrupt our sleep, have a negative impact on our skin, and cause weight gain. Cutting it out for a month can result in some amazing benefits to health.
  • Save money – the average person in the UK spends £50,000 on booze over their lifetime. Cutting out alcohol for a month could help you save more than you’d think – no bad thing post-Christmas!
  • New relationship with alcohol – learn the skills you need to say no when you don’t fancy a drink.
  • Set yourself a challenge for the New Year!