According to UK charity Alcohol Concern, alcohol is estimated to cost the NHS £3.5 billion annually with around 2.5 million people drinking more than 14 units on their heaviest drinking days.
This month is your chance to get on board with the Dry January appeal and swap your favourite tipple for a mocktail alternative. Alcohol Concern runs Dry January every year and its aim is to start a new conversation about alcohol by encouraging people to go dry for the 31 days of January.
You may treat yourself to a couple of beers after a hard week in the office but not only does that come with a pretty hefty price tag; you are also consuming a high number of calories which is not good for your waistline.
On average four beers cost £13.80 and contain 660 calories. The average person spends £50,000 on booze in their lifetime. You can use the following link to calculate your alcohol consumption and costs https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/calculator
New NHS guidelines state that for regular drinking, women and men are safest not regularly drinking more than 14 units per week – equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine or five pints of export type larger (5% abv) over the course of a week. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long-term illnesses and from accidents and injuries. You also risk developing a range of illnesses including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast.
Alan Dowswell, Health Early Action Team Practitioner, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “By taking part in Dry January you can reduce your waistline, improve your physical and mental health and reduce the cost to yourself and the NHS.”
David Walker, Medical Director, UHMBT, added: “The types of illnesses you could develop after years of drinking heavily include liver disease, stroke, cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, heart disease and damage to the nervous system. Drinking can also have a huge impact on your mental health.”
Keep track of your journey this month by downloading the Dry January app at https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/dry-january