The Herald & Gazette have joined forces with GP practices in the area which form part of the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This week they are urging people to get involved with Dry January.
It is the start of a new year – and with that many of us will have made resolutions; resolutions about what we want to achieve this year, about work, and about our health.
The amount of alcohol we drink is often high on the list of things we plan to tackle – and this January help is available; both nationally from the campaign that is sweeping the country – Dry January – and locally from online tips and tools to face-to-face support and advice.
Already this year 2 million people across the country have signed up for Dry January, the online challenge to go without alcohol for the month, and just because it is the second week of January it doesn’t mean it’s too late.
People taking part have already said they are sleeping better, feeling happier and losing weight.
Laura took part in Dry January last year: “I was by no means a heavy drinker but I was starting to have a glass of wine more regularly during the week, and it was becoming a habit.
“I decided over Christmas that I would give up alcohol for Dry January to firstly have a rest after the festive season but also to prove to myself that I didn’t need it.
“It was tough when it came to people’s birthdays and events during the month, but I felt so much better and the health benefits really surprised me. I slept really well, my skin looked better, I had more energy and I lost about 6lbs.
“After doing the month I definitely felt like I didn’t need to drink as regularly as I had and I have definitely cut down what I drink. It’s a great way to start taking control of your drinking and reaping the benefits.”
But you don’t have to take part in the national challenge; there is a range of local support available online and from local services.
If you’d like to know more about your drinking habits, take our simple Alcohol Test which works out how risky your drinking is and the effect it may be having on your health.
The online test is private and confidential but can provide personalised advice and where further help is available.
It only takes two minutes to complete – visit the site here: dontbottleitup.org.uk
If you are concerned about your drinking and would like direct support, please contact our local specialist service. You can phone them on 0300 303 8677 and choose the option closest to where you live or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you are worried about someone else’s drinking, there is help available too.
The local Families & Friends Network supports anyone affected by someone else’s drinking and/or drug use – contact Carers Support West Sussex on 0300 028 8888.
For information about alcohol, how it impacts on your health, and the support available visit www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/topics/alcohol
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