Time to choose your New Year's resolution
Date Added: 31/12/2015
Central Bedfordshire Council is urging residents to choose their New Year’s resolution nice and early and call time on harmful drinking in time for Dry January.
Dry January is an opportunity to reflect on any Christmas excess and start the New Year with a challenge to prove to yourself that you can say no to alcohol. The national initiative is run by Alcohol Concern and encourages people to ‘take a holiday from booze’ after the festive period, by refraining from having any alcohol over the course of January.
And while you don’t need to cut out alcohol completely to feel the benefits to your wallet, waistline and wellbeing, Dry January is a great time to start thinking about how healthy (or unhealthy) your drinking habits are.
Avoiding alcohol for just two days a week can help prevent health problems such as liver damage, heart disease, and stroke. It can also help your mood, sleep and weight.
You may not be aware of the real damage that drinking can do to your body, particularly your liver, until it is too late.
Fortunately, it takes just two minutes to test how healthy or unhealthy your drinking habits using the Don’t Bottle It Up website at https://dontbottleitup.org.uk/. The test is free and completely confidential and the website features information on the short and long term effects of alcohol.
Celia Shohet, Assistant Director of Public Health, said: “Of course, making sure your drinking habits are healthy involves more than just giving up alcohol for a month. But Dry January is a good time to stop and reflect on how much you drink, and there are real benefits involved in having at least two alcohol free days each week..”
To sign up for Alcohol Concern’s Dry January challenge and register for tips and tools to make the most of the month, people should visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.
The council are also urging people who need help in reducing their alcohol intake to talk to Path to Recovery (P2R), who provide advice and treatment to adults over the age of 18 in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire whose lives are affected by drug or alcohol use.
The P2R service includes Hubs in Dunstable and Bedford and residents can choose to ring or drop-in to the Hub most convenient to them, without an appointment or referral, and seek help with changing their drinking habits:
• Dunstable Hub: 67 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1JF (tel. 01582 501780).
• Bedford Hub: 21 The Crescent, Bedford, MK40 3RT (tel. 01234 352220).
Celia added: “If you drink alcohol every day, find it hard to stop, or feel unwell when you don’t have a drink, you should seek professional advice before you sign up to Dry January.
“Likewise, taking the Don’t Bottle It Up test first will help you decide what is best for you when it comes to alcohol."