The Council is encouraging residents to sign up for Dry January and start 2017 by taking a break from booze. After the excess of the holiday season, January is a great time to give your body a little time off from alcohol.
It's simple to do - just swap your alcoholic drinks for something softer in January to experience some amazing health (and wealth) benefits. As well as long-term benefits, you can expect to feel better in the mornings and less tired during the day, your skin may start to look better, and you may feel fitter and lose weight. Plus you'll save money.
Having a Dry January can also often help break bad habits and help you to reduce your drinking all year round.
A month without alcohol doesn't mean you have to stay in though, so check Club Soda's new guide for the best places for mindful drinkers in Hackney and the City, to find the best venues to socialise without alcohol.
Even if you're not having a Dry January - you can still reap rewards from drinking less alcohol throughout 2017.
Try the following to help make cutting down easier:
- make a plan - before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink
- set a budget - only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol
- let them know - if you let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, you could get support from them
- take it a day at a time - cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success
- make it a smaller one - you can still enjoy a drink, but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one
- have a lower-strength drink - cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You'll find this information on the bottle
- stay hydrated - have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink
You can also access guidance from the NHS, including apps and on-line tools to monitor how much you're drinking. The NHS recommends that people shouldn't drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread over several days, with several alcohol-free days every week. 14 units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
If you, or someone you know, has a problem with alcohol misuse, find out more about local support services.
If you're feeling unwell as a result of cutting down or stopping drinking, see your GP as soon as possible. Dry January is not a medical detox programme and should not be attempted by people with an alcohol dependency problem.