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One in three considering taking a break from booze this January

Sunderland - Dry Jan 17

Stockton - Dry Jan 17

S Tyneside - Dry Jan 17

Redcar - Dry Jan 17

Northumberland - Dry Jan 17

N Tyneside - Dry Jan 17

Newcastle - Dry Jan 17

Hartlepool - Dry Jan 17

Gateshead - Dry January 17

Durham - Dry Jan 2017

Darlington Dry Jan 17

Posted 03/01/17

Almost one in three of the region’s drinkers are considering a break from alcohol this January according to our new figures.

Balance’s data also reveals that almost 140,000 drinkers have previously taken, or attempted to take, a month or longer off from drinking, with nine in 10 of those drinkers ‘successful’ in achieving their goal.

The new figures come as Balance challenges people to start the New Year by ditching the booze for 31 days and sign up to Alcohol Concern’s Dry January.

Now in its fifth year, Dry January asks people to put the excesses of the festive period behind them and start the year with a fresh, healthy approach.

For the last three years, the North East has led the way in terms of the rate of Dry January sign ups, with the highest proportion of people taking up the challenge, compared to any other region in the country. Balance is now calling on people across the region to accept the Dry January challenge, and help put the North East at the top of the table again for 2017.

It’s estimated that around two million people nationally attempted the challenge last year, with around 70,000 of these coming from the North East.

This year, Balance has joined with partners around the region, to suggest alcohol-free activities and attractions across the North East that anyone taking the Dry January challenge can enjoy during a hangover free month, including enjoying a bracing winter walk at Northumberlandia, visiting Sunderland’s Winter Gardens, or reach for the sky at the Air Trail Tees Barrage high ropes course.

As well as all the making the most of hangover-free weekends, anyone accepting the Dry January challenge can also look forward to starting the year with better sleeping patterns, better skin, more energy, a smaller waistline and more money.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “It’s fantastic that a third of drinkers in the region are considering taking a break from alcohol to see in 2017.

“As a region we have made steady progress in tackling alcohol-related harm, but still much remains to be done. We continue to have the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England and, for many people, Dry January is often the first step towards making positive long-term changes. Cutting out alcohol for even just one month can have positive effects on our health.

“The North East has topped the national table in terms of sign up rates over the last three years and it would be a great achievement to lead the way again this year. At a time when we’ve all overdone it a bit at Christmas and we’re looking to start a fresh in the New Year, Dry January is the perfect way to take some time out from alcohol and feel better all round.

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