Why do Dry January?

Dry January means going alcohol-free for the whole month using Alcohol Change UK's tools and resources, and that can bring huge, obvious benefits - but the really good stuff is under the surface...

1. What you'll notice

See your skin get brighter, your wallet fuller, your days busier. Feel your step get bouncier, your mind calmer, your nights sleepier. Most people who do Dry January see a whole host of obvious benefits that make Dry January the perfect start to the New Year.

Why do Dry January?

70%

70% of people sleep better

Why do Dry January?

86%

86% of people save money

Why do Dry January?

65%

65% of people notice generally improved health

2. On the inside

A month alcohol-free has a lot of benefits: research published in 2018, conducted by the Royal Free Hospital and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a month off:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces diabetes risk
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

Wow.

3. Long-term change

The real magic happens when Dry January is over. Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round. Research conducted by the University of Sussex has found that six months after Dry January more than 70% of people who take on the month with Alcohol Change UK's Try Dry app or coaching emails are still drinking more healthily. On top of that, they have boosted levels of wellbeing, and much more besides.

How can it be that just a month off has a long-term impact? Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialise. It helps us learn the skills we need to manage our drinking. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about when we drink and how much, so we can avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.

That's extra good news, because alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. In fact, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK. Cutting back on alcohol long-term reduces your risk of developing these conditions.

Warning

Stopping drinking suddenly can be very dangerous, and can even kill you, if you are dependent on alcohol. If, after a period of drinking, you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be dependent on alcohol and you should NOT suddenly stop drinking completely:

  • seizures (fits)
  • hand tremors (‘the shakes’)
  • sweating
  • seeing things that are not actually real (visual hallucinations)
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

But you can still take control of your drinking. Speak to a GP who will be able to get help for you to reduce your drinking safely. Find out more about getting some support.

Why do Dry January?

People who do Dry January by downloading the Try Dry app are twice as likely to have a totally alcohol-free month, and to get amazing long-term benefits.

Take part in Dry January by downloading the free Try Dry app or by signing up for daily emails.

More reasons to do Dry January