Take a break from drink in January

Cynthia Lyons, acting director of public health
Cynthia Lyons, acting director of public health

People in 1066 Country are being urged to make a healthy start to the New Year – by taking a break from booze.

Dry January is a national initiative aimed at encouraging people to sign up to a pledge to give their body a break from alcohol for a month.

Almost a quarter of adults in East Sussex drink at a level which could be harmful to their health, increasing the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver damage and strokes. According to Health Profiles 2012 the percentage of higher risk drinkers in Hastings - those who regularly consume more than eight units a day or 50 units a week for men, or six units a day or 35 units a week for women - stood at seven per cent.

Last year, more than 17,000 people across the country signed up to the scheme, organised by the charity Alcohol Concern, and received tips and tools for staying off booze.

Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of health, said: “The New Year is a time when people often make a resolution to put the excesses of the festive season behind them. People who signed up for Dry January last year found that taking part allowed them to reset their alcohol use for months afterwards, allowing them to drink less and to drink less frequently. We’d encourage everyone to think about the impact of alcohol on their lives and to make a resolution which could allow them to lose weight, reduce their risk of illness and make a healthy start to 2015.” Visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.