The charity behind Dry January

Maddy Lawson | January 2019 | 7 minutes

As you may or may not know, Dry January is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK. This blog post contains a little more information who we are, what we do and how you can get get involved year-round.

Who are Alcohol Change UK?

Doing Dry January, you've probably noticed how big a part of many of our lives alcohol is. We use it for celebration, for comfort, to socialise, to wind down, to cope. It’s legal, socially acceptable, and even encouraged.

Yet in the UK one person every hour dies as a result of alcohol. Alcohol harm – mental health problems, liver disease, seven forms of cancer, economic difficulties, and so much more – can affect any one of us, from any walk of life.

The harm doesn’t end with the individual; each of us who drinks too much is part of a family and a community who feel the effects too, whether through frequent use of emergency services, drink driving, violence or neglect.

At Alcohol Change UK we work for a society that is free from the harm caused by alcohol.

We are not anti-alcohol; we are for alcohol change. We are for a future in which people drink as a conscious choice, not a default; where the issues which lead to alcohol problems – like poverty, mental health issues, homelessness – are addressed; where those of us who drink too much, and our loved ones, have access to high-quality support whenever we need it, without shame or stigma.

Driven by our belief that every person deserves to live a full life free from alcohol harm, we create evidence-driven change by working towards five key changes: improved knowledge, better policies and regulation, shifted cultural norms, improved drinking behaviours, and more and better support and treatment.

Find out more about what we do.

Where does Dry January fit in?

Every year millions of people take on a Dry January. The month off has lots of immediate benefits like losing weight, sleeping better, saving money, and health benefits like reduced cholesterol and lower levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

But the real magic happens when Dry January is over. Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round, according to independent research conducted by the University of Sussex with over 800 Dry January participants. It showed that Dry January participants are still drinking less even six months later. This confirms earlier research that shows that 72% of participants are still drinking less riskily in August.

Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.

Dry January does even more than that. When one in ten of us stops drinking for a month, it changes the conversation. It’s one month each year when the UK talks openly about alcohol.

Put simply, Dry January can change lives. Read more about how Dry January helps to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

We need support from people like you to do our work. If you have done Dry January and would like to support our work, please donate now! Anything you can give makes a difference. Thank you!

Get involved

Worried you'll miss us? Don't worry, Alcohol Change UK is here all year round to provide support, information and more. Explore our website to find out about everything we offer, but just a few things you might be interested in are...

Any ideas for other ways you'd like to get involved? Please get in touch.