31 / 1 / 2014 8.29am
Well it’s almost here – last day of Dry January, but it’s not been the countdown most of us anticipated on Wednesday 1 January when we took on the challenge.
I, and others, imagined the last week would drag as we approached ‘freedom’.
As I look around the office I see about a third of staff at NHS Employers, who took up the challenge (others of course may not drink at all for personal, religious or health reasons) are not planning on a ‘binge’ to celebrate.
In fact it seems that the purpose of Dry January has worked. It’s not a detox but a sense that a period of abstinence will be followed for most by moderation and being more aware of our alcohol intake. It’s an important area of public health where I think the NHS can show more leadership when it comes to sensitive drinking limits.
Our organisation has been leading on a the campaign in the NHS, using social medial to support staff and organisations. We will also be evaluating participants who agreed for us to contact them over the next few months – watch this space!
The most impactful thing we did was produce an infographic on 'Paying the price of alcohol'. This highlighted:
• 1.2m alcohol related admissions p.a
• second biggest risk factor for cancer after smoking
• 1.6m people are alcohol dependant
So for me, no big celebratory drink on the Saturday 1 February but a commitment to stick to the weekly recommended alcohol limits. Dry January gives way to 'Damp February'.
This is my last Dry January blog - until next year...