This week Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced the ëDry January 2014í campaign, which will encourage adults to abstain from alcohol. He was accompanied by Alcohol Concern Cymru director Andrew Misell, and the Student Unionís Vice President for Welfare, Helen Dent.
The campaign is being launched across England and Wales, and will encourage adults to give up alcohol in January; not dissimilar to the governmentís ëStoptoberí campaign which aims to aid smoking cessation. The Health Minister says that the focus of the initiative is to ìimprove the health of people in Wales and to support people to make healthier choices to improve their own lives.î
The campaign follows the Christmas period, which for many in the UK can be a time of over indulgence and excess. Therefore, the health benefits of participating could prove advantageous to many.
The Dry January website states that 31 days abstaining from alcohol can aid with sleep, weight loss and improvement in hair and skin quality. On top of these benefits, a month without drinking can save money, a benefit that will is certainly attractive to students.
Similar campaigns have proved successful in New Zealand and Australia, with two thirds of the participants claiming to have had more alcohol free days than before they participated in the campaign.
Cardiff University student, Luke Addison, successfully took on the challenge last year. Luke said that he was ìproud to have successfully done it because most students drink every day and it was a challenge to withstand the pressure.î
The campaign is also intended to raise money for Alcohol Concern through sponsorship and fundraising. The money raised will go towards helping raise awareness of the problem of alcohol misuse.