4.2 million people in the UK to give up alcohol for Dry January 2019

Posted on: 18th December 2018

A YouGov poll released has revealed that an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK are already planning to do Dry January in 2019. That’s about one in ten people who drink. They will stop drinking alcohol for one month to feel healthier, save money and improve their relationship with alcohol long term.

Dry January is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK. The British Liver Trust is an official Dry January partner along three other national charities who work on issues related to alcohol harm.

"In the last 10 years, we have seen a 20% increase in the number of deaths form liver disease, a major cause of which is is drinking too much alcohol,” says Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust.  "Doing Dry January is a great way to begin to Love Your Liver.  Dry January should be seen as an impetus to change your relationship with alcohol forever."

Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round. Research conducted with over 800 Dry January participants showed that Dry January participants are still drinking less in August:

  • Drinking days per week dropped on average from 4.3 to 3.3.
  • Units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1.
  • Frequency of drunkenness fell on average from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month.

For all of these measures, people who drank more riskily before Dry January saw bigger decreases in the amount and regularity of their drinking – suggesting that Dry January is particularly helpful for heavier drinkers.

The research also showed that:

  • 93% of participants had a sense of achievement
  • 88% saved money
  • 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink
  • 80% feel more in control of their drinking
  • 76% learned more about when and why they drink
  • 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves
  • 70% had generally improved health
  • 71% slept better
  • 67% had more energy
  • 58% lost weight
  • 57% had better concentration
  • 54% had better skin

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said:

“Put simply, Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result, many of them making permanent life changes.

“The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.

“Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol – seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems – but we often are unaware that drinking less has immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight … the list goes on. Dry January helps millions to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily.”

Signing up for Dry January increases the chance that you’ll get the most out of the month. You can sign up at dryjanuary.org.uk for regular support emails with tips and tricks from the experts and others like you. Or you can download ‘Try Dry: The Dry January App’ to track your units, money and calories saved, plus many more features.