Benefits to give up alcohol for month

A health improvement specialist is encouraging people to sign up for Dry January after seeing the benefits of giving up alcohol first hand.

Thousands of people are expected to cut out alcohol this month as part of the national health initiative.

And support is being offered locally through Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s health improvement service.

Tim Holmes, health improvement practitioner specialist, took part in Dry January last year and is encouraging people to sign up.

He said: “As a health improvement specialist I am aware of the harm excessive drinking can do to your health, so I wanted to actively support the national initiative.

“When I first signed up for Dry January last year I hadn’t thought of making it a permanent decision.

“But by the end of the month I was thinking I’d like to carry on a bit longer, and by March I was thinking about giving up alcohol permanently.

“I’ve never really been a regular drinker and I found that once I got out of the habit of drinking it wasn’t something I missed.

“I am glad I did the Dry January challenge and I would definitely encourage other people to sign-up this year.

“There’s loads of support and help available from the Dry January team, and cutting out alcohol can help people lose weight and feel fitter and more energetic.”

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Tracy Bruce, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We would encourage people to consider giving up alcohol for Dry January and enjoying the health benefits this brings.

“We can support people by helping them to understand the health consequences of drinking too much alcohol, giving information about sensible drinking and giving advice and training about how to make a lifestyle change.”

Northumberland County councillor Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult care and public health, said: “Most people like to indulge in a tipple or two to celebrate Christmas and the arrival of the New Year, so January is the perfect time to recharge, and make a fresh and healthy start to the year ahead.”