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One in seven in the North East planning to take a month off drinking this January

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

ONE in seven adults in the North East is planning on taking a month off drinking this January, according to a new survey. It comes as the annual Dry January campaign is launched in the North East.

With January just around the corner, now might be a good time to consider taking a month off drinking to give your body a rest and enjoy all the benefits that brings.

The survey1 by Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January®, shows that one in seven (16%) of North East adults – an estimated 343,540 people - plan to give up alcohol for 31 days in January.

It shows that the cost of living crisis has impacted on drinking over the last six months.

  • One in three (29%) people who drink alcohol said that they have drunk more at home compared with pubs and other venues in the last six months.

  • However, three in 10 (29%) drinkers in the North East said they would like to reduce how much they drink in 2023 (compared to 18% a year ago).

Balance and North East councils are encouraging people in the North East to join in the campaign to feel all the Dry January benefits of losing weight, more energy, better sleep and a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Susan Taylor, Head of Alcohol Policy for Balance, said: “It can be hard to break drinking habits but millions of people around the country will be doing Dry January and hoping to feel the benefits. People who take part often say they feel better and more invigorated.

“We know that alcohol causes seven types of cancer and raises the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. But it also sets a pattern which can make us feel more tired, depressed and sluggish.

“It is clear some people are turning to alcohol to cope with worrying times. However stressful life can be, alcohol is not the answer and is never going to make us feel better in the long-term. We hope thousands of people take a break from alcohol again this year.”

Cllr Karen Kilgour, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council and Cabinet Member for a Healthy, Caring City, said: “There are significant health benefits to giving your body a break from alcohol, especially coming on the back of the busy festive celebrations.

“People often find they lose weight when they stop drinking, their blood pressure lowers, they sleep better and feel better, and critically during this Cost of Living crisis, it can save you money.

“There’s never a bad time to cut down on the amount you drink, but Dry January is great

opportunity to join a community of others taking on the challenge to go alcohol free for a month. Give it a go in 2023 and you may even find you develop healthier drinking habits in the future as result.”

Councillor Bernadette Oliphant, Gateshead’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Dry January is ideal for anyone who feels like they’re drinking a bit too much, or too often, or that they’ve overindulged during the festive period. The first few months of this winter have been extremely difficult for many people, with financial pressures leading to stress and anxiety, and although having a drink or two may seem like a quick fix to help you relax, regular drinking can be harmful for your physical and mental health in the long run. Cutting out alcohol for a few weeks gives your mind and body the chance to reset, as well as saving you money.”

Research shows that Dry January® is an effective and lasting way to cut down. Nearly 9/10 Dry January participants report saving money, 7/10 say they slept better and 6/10 said they lost weight. It can also help people to cut down long-term: research has found 70% taking on Dry January are still drinking less six months later but this only applied to those who used the Try Dry app or coaching emails.

Take part in Dry January® by downloading the free app, Try Dry®, or by signing up for coaching emails to get amazing benefits like a fuller wallet, better night’s sleep, brighter skin, and a calmer mind, as well as finding ways to drink more healthily year-round. Find it in your app store or from

Ailar Hashemzadeh, Director of Research and Public Affairs at Alcohol Change UK, said: “Over the past few years, things have been incredibly tough for so many people and the cost of living crisis is making things even tougher. This has led to more and more of us finding our drinking creeping up, particularly for those of us who were drinking more heavily to start with.

“Since its launch 10 years ago, Dry January® has provided a brilliant opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to take a break from drinking and have a total reset.

“It helps you break habits you’ve fallen into and make long-term changes for the better. It can help to relieve anxiety and helps you remember that you don’t need alcohol to have fun, relax, celebrate, unwind or anything else. It puts you back in control of your drinking.”

For help and support with addiction, you can visit the following resources:


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