Charity launches Dry January campaign as Booze's Black Friday gets under way


British people are expected to drink more today than on any other day of the year - whether they want to or not.

Figures show that Brits make an estimated 165 million trips to bars, pubs and clubs throughout December, spending £2.3 billion on drinks and even more on alcohol in shops.

But further numbers reported by added that more than half of us (53%) often feel social pressures to drink more than we actually want to over the festive period, leaving two in five of us feeling in need of a break from the booze afterwards.

The figures come on what the charity has named Booze's Black Friday as it launches a fresh Dry January campaign to help people cut down on drinking in the new year.

It reports that this Friday last year saw sales of alcohol in pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels across Britain rise by 142%.

This festive over-indulgence, left more than a quarter of us (27%) feeling guilty and nearly a third (30%) starting the new year feeling "run down".

Dr Yvonne Doyle, London regional director of Public Health England said: "The festive period often sees people drinking much more than usual, which as well as being damaging to our health also sees the NHS and police dealing with more drinking-related accidents and emergencies.

"It's not surprising that many of us feel ready to take a break from alcohol.

"A period of abstinence could help encourage less harmful, better drinking habits in the long-term - even six months later, evidence from Dry January shows that more than two-thirds of participants are still drinking less.

"As the festive season continues, we're urging people to take a break and get their 2016 off to a positive start by signing up for Dry January."

The charity explained that, as well as saving money, reduced drinking brought with it a number of long-term health benefits, including weight loss and lower blood pressure.

Jackie Ballard, CEO of Alcohol Concern said: "Dry January is an incredible opportunity to give the body a break and gain some great health benefits such as; lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, losing weight and feeling more energised."

Latest research carried out by the charity shows that two thirds of people who completed the Dry January challenge this year managed to keep up a reduced level of drinking for at least another six months.

To find out more and sign up for Dry January, visit