Give up alcohol in January for a healthy start to 2015

​Date 1/7/2015

PR4835

We are reminding residents it's not too late to go alcohol free this month – by signing up to 'dry' January.

During the first month of the year people are being asked to consider taking a break from alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer and spirits, as part of a drive to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.

Dry January, a national challenge, encourages people to stay off alcohol and feel the benefits of going alcohol free for a month.

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council, who has signed up for Dry January said: "I have signed up as I think we can all benefit from an alcohol-free month after the festive season."

She said: "We want to help people understand the dangers of too much drinking and support them to make healthier lifestyle choices.

 "There's still time to join in and enjoy the benefits. It would be great to see as many people as possible stay off the alcohol, which can help to lose a few pounds, save money, sleep better, have more energy and improve overall health."

 Even if you have been drinking alcohol in 2015 – it's not too late to get involved in Dry January.

Director of Public Health, Dr Andrew Furber said: "Drinking too much alcohol has very serious consequences, as it is the third biggest risk factor for illness and death after tobacco and high blood pressure.

"Dry January is a great way to have a break from alcohol. Research shows that after a month of not drinking, most people will drink significantly less than they did before. So taking part can help people to change their behaviour in the long term and enjoy better health."

He added: "It is important after Dry January has finished you still take care, drink responsibly, and follow the recommended guidelines."

The national guidelines state women should not regularly drink more than two - three units a day and men should not regularly drink more than three -four units a day. People are also recommended to have two alcohol-free days a week.

In 2012, there were a total of 21,485 deaths relating to alcohol in the UK along with 49,456 hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease.

Residents who want to join the Dry January challenge can do so by signing up on www.dryjanuary.org.uk or like the Wakefield Wellbeing Facebook page to find out more.