Dry January - are you up for the Challenge?

Photograhp of Dry January Launch in Hartlepool

Amacus has joined forces with Balance, the North East Alcohol office, to promote the challenge for people to make a resolution to ditch the drink for 31 days.

Not content to promote this campaign, the team at Amacus have also pledged to take on Alcohol Concern’s Dry January challenge and will be supporting each other to stay focused throughout the first month of 2016 – and they’re hoping people will join them in pledging to reduce their alcohol consumption.

“Amacus are delighted to be supporting Dry January as part of our investment in the health and wellbeing of our employees and our participation in the North East Better Health at Work Award. We hope that other companies will join us in encouraging staff to pledge to go sober for a month and feel the benefits!” said Judith Donnelly, Training and Quality Director at Amacus.

Dry January, now in its fourth year, challenges people to put the excesses of the festive period behind them adopt a fresh, healthy start to the new year.

In exchange for avoiding alcohol throughout January, anyone accepting the challenge can look forward to starting the year hangover free, with better sleeping patterns, better skin and more energy.

Last year, the North East topped the table in terms of the number of participants signing up to Dry January. As not everyone that decides to take part signs up online, it’s estimated that around two million people nationally attempted the challenge, with around 70,000 of these coming from the North East.

Balance and Amacus are now calling on people across Hartlepool to join with them and accept the abstinence challenge, and help put the North East at the top of the table again for 2016.

Mary Edwards, Programme Manager Alcohol Treatment at Balance, said: “Accepting the Dry January challenge before the excesses of the festive period, a time when many of us can overdo it, is the perfect way to commit to taking a break from alcohol. New Year is the natural time to take stock of our health and make a fresh start.

“Drinking more than the recommended limits can have serious long-term implications for health, with proven links to seven types of cancer, plus conditions including liver disease, anxiety, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, strokes and dementia.

“Studies have shown that even just one month without alcohol can have positive effects on health, meaning there are real benefits to taking part. In addition, many people taking the challenge find that the health benefits they notice over the month encourage them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes.

“North Easterners proved they were up for the challenge last year – let’s see if we can get even more people taking part this year.”

This year’s Dry January campaign is again supported by Hartlepool Borough Council, who are joining the calls for local people to take on the challenge.

Sharon Robson, Health Improvement Practitioner (Drugs and Alcohol) at Hartlepool Council, said: “Everyone enjoys a celebration, but people can get carried away and drink far too much over Christmas and New Year and that does harm their health.

“If people take a rest from alcohol throughout January, they will start to feel a benefit to their health. They’ll also be able to get a clearer perspective on the amount of alcohol they have been consuming and we hope they will adjust their drinking habits accordingly.”

To sign up to Dry January, find out more about the campaign and to access a wealth of support and advice, visit the Dry January website at www.dryjanuary.org.uk.