Dry January 2018
Dry January is an annual movement started by Alcohol Concern during which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January. This initiative is about prompting us to think and perhaps consciously move away from some drinking routines we have adopted; about waking up with a clear head every day for a month; probably saving some money, and possibly even losing some weight.
Above all, ‘Dry January’ is about taking control of our drinking and our health.
Some myths about alcohol
- Alcohol is a winter warmer – Although a shot of whisky or brandy can make you feel warmer for a bit, alcohol actually lowers your body temperature, so it is not always a good idea in cold weather.
- Drinking helps me sleep – Alcohol can make you feel sleepy, and help you get to sleep quickly. However, it will also stop your body getting the deep sleep you need and you may feel even more tired the next morning.
- Drinking when pregnant is OK – Drinking alcohol when you are pregnant can injure the foetus, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy. If you are pregnant or are trying to have a baby, it is best to avoid alcohol altogether.
- I can drink and still be in control – Alcohol clouds your judgment, makes you clumsier and slower to react, making your risk of accidents and injuries much higher.
- Alcohol improves sexual performance – Temporary impotence (“brewer’s droop”) after a bout of drinking is common amongst men. In the long term, however, heavy drinking by both men and women can make the sex organs shrink and also lead to a loss of sexual drive.
- Alcohol gives me a boost – Alcohol is a depressant; it slows down how you think, move and react. Therefore it is not the best ‘pick-me-up’.
- Coffee will sobers you up – Drinking coffee makes you feel more awake, but it will not make you less drunk or cure a hangover. Drinking caffeine may also make it harder for you to realise whether you are still drunk, leading to poor decision-making such as driving whilst there is still alcohol in your blood.
- A trip to the gym will undo damage caused by drinking excessively on a night – Exercise can make you feel a bit better after drinking, but it is not possible to sweat out the alcohol, which will move out of your bloodstream over time. In addition, you risk injuring yourself if you work-out after drinking and you are still hung-over.
To prevent health problems due to alcohol, it is recommended that both men and women do not regularly drink more than 14 units per week (equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine or five pints of export-type lager) over the course of a week. If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, try to spread this evenly over three days or more. And remember-a good way to cut down the amount you are drinking is to have several alcohol-free days each week.
Further information on alcohol and related topics may be obtained from here