Dry January: A Chance for a Healthier, Happier New Year


As an annual movement with millions of participants, Dry January provides an opportunity to reset your drinking habits for a healthier New Year.

Organised by Alcohol Change UK, the month-long initiative encourages everyone to proactively think about and change their drinking habits. Regardless of whether you’re a ‘heavy’ drinker, lessening or abstaining from alcohol for a month has a number of benefits.  

The benefits of participating in Dry January are threefold. By refraining from alcohol, you can avoid hangovers, save money and improve your overall health. Expected health benefits may include improved sleep and concentration, weight loss, lowered blood pressure and a jump-start to long-term healthier drinking habits. 

Alcohol Consumption in England

Experts recommend limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 14 units per week. Many also suggest that intake be spread over three or more days with at least two days in between consumption.   

Across the UK, alcohol is the biggest cause of death for people aged 15-49. According to Public Health England, an estimated 589,101 adults required specialised treatment for alcohol dependency in 2016 to 2017. Of those, only 1 in 5 are currently receiving the treatment they need. 

Alcohol related-illnesses create considerable costs to the NHS and are linked with more than 60 health conditions including liver disease, high blood pressure and several types of cancer. It costs the NHS around £3.5 billion to treat alcohol-related illnesses each year.  

How Can I Participate?

To take part in Dry January, you can sign-up with Alcohol Change UK. By signing up, you will receive regular support such as emails with tips, tricks and information from experts. Participants will also get access to the charity’s free app that includes a variety of helpful features such as a calorie calculator, unit tracker and tool that keeps track of how much you save throughout the month. 

NHS SMPA website Dry January.jpg

You can also help raise awareness about alcohol consumption in England by sharing graphics and promotional material available on alcoholchange.org.uk, or by using #DryJanuary across social media platforms.   

Dry January offers everyone a chance for a healthier, happier New Year.