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North Easterners challenged to avoid alcohol for 31 days

Dry January launches in Durham

Dry January launches in Stockton

Dry January launches in Middlesbrough

Dry January launches in Hartlepool

Dry January launches in Darlington

Dry January launches in Sunderland

Dry January launches in South Tyneside

Dry January launches in Northumberland

Dry January launches in Newcastle

Dry January launches in North Tyneside

Dry January launches in Gateshead

Dry January launches in Redcar and Cleveland

Posted 04/12/15

Balance, the North East Alcohol office, has joined forces with all 12 North East local authorities and business across the region to challenge people to see in 2016 with a resolution to ditch the drink for 31 days.

Alcohol Concern’s Dry January, now in its fourth year, challenges people to put the excesses of the festive period behind them, stay on the wagon through January, and start the new year with a fresh, healthy approach.

In exchange for avoiding alcohol throughout January, anyone accepting the challenge can look forward to starting the year hangover free, with better sleeping patterns, better skin and more energy. Other benefits potentially include a smaller waistline and a larger bank balance.

Last year, the North East topped the table in terms of the number of participants signing up to Dry January. As not everyone that decides to take part signs up online, it’s estimated that around two million people nationally attempted the challenge, with around 70,000 of these coming from the North East.

Balance are working with Darlington Borough Council, Durham County Council, Gateshead Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, Redcar and Cleveland Council, South Tyneside Council, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Sunderland City Council to encourage people to accept the abstinence challenge - and help put the North East at the top of the table again for 2016.

In a launch tour across the region, Balance and the local authorities we joined by a range of employers to kick start the campaign.

Mary Edwards, Programme Manager Alcohol Treatment at Balance, said: “Accepting the Dry January challenge before the excesses of the festive period, a time when many of us can overdo it, is the perfect way to commit to taking a break from alcohol. New Year is the natural time to take stock of our health and make a fresh start.

“Drinking more than the recommended limits can have serious long-term implications for health, with proven links to seven types of cancer, plus conditions including liver disease, anxiety, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, strokes and dementia.

“Studies have shown that even just one month without alcohol can have positive effects on health, meaning there are real benefits to taking part. In addition, many people taking the challenge find that the health benefits they notice over the month encourage them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes.
“North Easterners proved they were up for the challenge last year – let’s see if we can get even more people taking part this year.”

To sign up to Dry January, find out more about the campaign and to access a wealth of support and advice, visit the Dry January website at