Going dry this January might be the best decision you make this year. Alcohol touches even more of our lives than you think, and 7 charities are leading the charge to end the harm caused by alcohol. It’s more than saving money, feeling great and looking fabulous. It’s changing our world for the better.
Dry January and its partner charities share with us their 7 reasons to stay dry.
1. Alcohol is the biggest cause of death for people aged 15-49 in the UK
Did you know it’s also a factor in over 60 medical conditions, including six types of cancer? Or how about that over 60% of stranger violence in the UK is linked to alcohol? There are over 595,000 dependent drinkers in the UK, all of whom need help, though less than one in five receive it. But it’s not only they who suffer the harm caused by alcohol – families, communities and in fact our whole society feels the negative effects.
Alcohol Concern is the charity behind Dry January, and they work all year round to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. They do this through funding research into alcohol-related issues, campaigning for better alcohol services and policy, and helping people to find support. They are entirely independent, receiving no money from the alcohol industry. Twenty percent of the money you raise through Dry January will go to them. Your money will save and improve lives.
2. Alcohol misuse is a factor identified in 1 in 5 children in need of help or protection from social care in England
From before they are born until they are into their twenties, Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK. Their staff and volunteers operate over 600 services, improving the lives of 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year. They succeed by doing what’s right, doing what’s needed and doing what works for children.
3. Experts estimate that 6% of breast cancers in women are linked to regularly drinking alcohol
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and women who regularly drink alcohol are at increased risk of getting the disease. Breast Cancer Now are the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity and are dedicated to funding research into this devastating disease.
Research suggests that many who go alcohol-free for a month continue to drink less in the following six months, so taking part in Dry January is the perfect first step in living a healthier lifestyle.
4. Liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death in the UK and for women of working age it is the second leading cause
The last 10 years have seen a 20% increase in the number of deaths from liver disease in the UK. Liver disease is devastating and often has no symptoms until it is too late. Drinking too much alcohol puts your liver at risk.
Dry January can be a great way to kick start better health all year round. Support the British Liver Trust during Dry January and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You will be doing more than raising money for those with liver conditions – you could be saving your own life by preventing liver disease or liver cancer in the future.
5. Two thirds of homeless people cite drug or alcohol use as a reason for first becoming homeless
Problems with alcohol and drugs can be part of a person’s spiral into homelessness. Of course, not everyone who has problems with alcohol becomes homeless and not every homeless person has problems with alcohol abuse. It is also not uncommon for those traumatised by homelessness to seek solace in drug or alcohol.
Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. They help people directly out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it altogether. Together we can end homelessness.
6. Each year, hospices provide care for more than 200,000 people living with life-limiting conditions
Hospice UK are the national charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices in the UK. They believe that everyone matters throughout their life right up until they die, and that no one should die in avoidable pain or suffering. They’re proud to be involved in the Dry January campaign which encourages the public to become more aware of their alcohol consumption and how this affects their health and wellbeing.
7. Alcohol is a cause of six types of cancer: breast, bowel, liver, mouth and throat, oesophagus and stomach
World Cancer Research Fund champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that they can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.
Want to get involved?
Download the Dry January app and start fundraising today. Together we can reduce the harm caused by alcohol.