After a festive period full of beer, prosecco and champagne, millions of people have decided to sign up to Dry January, a campaign which entails cutting out booze for the whole month of January.
In 2015 there were 8,758 alcohol related deaths, which equates to every 14 in 100,000 people. There was an estimated 339 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption in 2015/16, which is a 22% increase from 10 years previous, costing the NHS 3.5 Billion, annually.
These health concerns are being used to urge people to get involved in the Dry January Campaign, in the hopes that people can take control over their relationship with alcohol and become less dependent upon the substance. The charity revealed that last year 79% of people who got involved saved money, 62% of participants had better sleep and more energy and 49% lost weight.
However, despite the evidence it is believed that the challenge could be sending out a harmful ‘all or nothing’ message, according to Ian Hamilton, a Science lecturer from The University of York.
Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), he said that "Because participants selected themselves it could attract the people at lowest risk from health problems related to alcohol.
"Because they consume less alcohol they are also likely to find a month of abstinence relatively easy. Dry January sends out a binary all or nothing message about alcohol – that is, either participate by abstaining or carry on as you are."
He also mentioned that if heavy drinkers suddenly stop they can experience serious side-effects, such as seizures.
Guidance upon alcohol has been difficulty to communicate and there is confusion about safe levels of consumption. The advice from the government suggests, however that you should have two dry days a week.