Dry January Contender: “It Feels Like You Are Stopping Yourself Having Fun.”
A student taking part in Dry January says it’s been harder than he thought.
Liam Hyland, 20, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, says he decided to try to last the month without alcohol because he noticed he’d drank more over the festive period.
“I never felt unhealthy, and I certainly don’t have a problem but I did drink more than normal at Christmas. I think I drank 12 days in a row.
“It’s more of a New Year diet, than trying to address an issue.”
But he admits he’s thought about giving up.
“It’s not like I’m sat at midday needing a pint, but there have been times where I thought I’d break it.”
Liam says social situations are when he could give up.
“When my friends are drinking, they say to me ‘go on’, and you have to decide whether to keep at it.
“It feels like you’re stopping yourself having fun.”
What is Dry January?
The ‘Dry January’ campaign, now in its fourth year is run by Alcohol Concern.
It’s a scheme where people give up alcohol for January to improve their health.
In 2014, there were 8,697 alcohol-related deaths.
Alcohol Concern say that 1 in 6 Britons takes part in the challenge.
However, some medical professionals say Dry January isn’t suitable for everyone.
A professor from York University says the campaign can be harmful to people dependent on alcohol.
Ian Hamilton, wrote in the British Medical Journal, “It could prove to be quite dangerous for people who are dependent on alcohol. If you stop drinking abruptly, it can cause hallucinations or seizures. A small number need professional support, advice and medication.”
Hamilton suggested limiting alcohol consumption as a way to cut down long-term, rather than stopping for a month.
“It would be better to have two alcohol free days each week all year rather than one month abstinence.”
The UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommend men and women do not regularly exceed 14 units of alcohol a week.
If you feel you may have an alcohol problem, or for more information about alcohol, go to the Drink Aware website.