More people than ever planning to go alcohol-free this January

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Alcohol-free January 2022
Photo: iStock

One in six adults who drink alcohol are planning to have a month off drinking for January 2022, a new research has revealed.

This is estimated at 7.9 million UK adults, up from an estimated 6.5 million last year, a 22 per cent increase, Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind the Dry January campaign, noted.

The research by Alcohol Change UK shows that almost three in 10 drinkers (28%) have found themselves drinking more in 2021, compared to 2020. Around one in six drinkers (17%) feel concerned about the amount they have been drinking since the removal of Covid-19 restrictions in the summer, and a quarter (25%) would like to reduce the amount they drink in 2022.

“We know that things are feeling uncertain at the moment and some of us will be looking for ways to try to cope. As the pandemic continues to take its toll, research consistently shows that, for many people who were already drinking heavily, our drinking habits may have taken a turn for the worse,” Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, commented.

“So it makes sense to get on top of our drinking using strategies that are proven to work. And that’s where Dry January comes in. It offers the opportunity for a total reset. 31 days to try something new. Sleep better and have more energy, improve your mental health and concentration, look fabulous and get brighter skin, save money and feel an amazing sense of achievement.”

The survey has shown that for those planning to have a month off alcohol for January, around one in three (30%) would prefer to take part in the Dry January campaign by using the tools and resources provided by Alcohol Change UK, rather than trying to give up alcohol on their own in January.

Alcohol Change UK is encouraging people to download the free app, Try Dry, to take part in Dry January and double their chances of a successful alcohol-free month, as a study by the University of Sussex published in 2020 found that those who take part in Dry January via  the app and/or free email coaching programme by the charity are twice as likely to have a completely alcohol-free month, compared to those who try to avoid alcohol in January on their own, and have significantly improved wellbeing and healthier drinking six months later.