Locals are being encouraged to consider signing up for Dry January, with today marking ‘the Black Friday of Booze’ when the festive season meets its peak for pubs, bars and restaurants.
This influx of revellers will be creating high demand across the emergency services, however, a spike in sign-ups to Dry January is also predicted as people start to think about giving their bodies a break in the New Year.
This comes as new figures show that:
- Last year, Friday 20th December saw sales of alcohol in pubs, bars and restaurants rise by 114% in England compared to an average Friday;
- £227.5million was spent on alcohol in the South West last December, with total sales of alcohol rising by almost a quarter (24%) from November to December;
- Sales of sparkling wine and liqueurs jumped in particular, by 85% and 41% respectively.
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.
“This is the perfect time to sign up to a holiday from alcohol. Dry January is not about never drinking again.
“It’s just an opportunity for people to reflect on their drinking patterns and to give their body a break from alcohol after the festive period.
“We know from previous years that people who do Dry January will feel better, lose weight and save money.”
This data is supported by a number of people who have been keeping a record of their drinking for the past month, with many noting that their alcohol consumption in December had increased considerably from the previous month.
Clive Lewis, Head of Alcohol and Drugs for Public Health England in the South West said: “Over 17,000 people took part in Dry January in 2014 and many reported that taking a month-long break from alcohol acted as a reset button concerning their alcohol use for months afterwards, not only helping people to drink less per drinking day but also to drink less frequently.
“As with any commitment to healthier living, people need some time to prepare themselves in advance so that they are in the best position possible to successfully achieve their goal.
“People who sign up to Dry January will receive the tips, ideas and encouragement to stay motivated and make the most of their month off alcohol.”
To sign up for Alcohol Concern’s Dry January and register for tips and tools to make the most of the month, people should visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.