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Dry January support available for Lancashire business

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Alcohol misuse in England is estimated to cost society £21.3 billion annually – it costs the North of England £6.2 billion per year. For any employer, alcohol misuse represents a major risk to your employees and your livelihood:

  • In 2013 there were 2,620 deaths due to alcohol in the North West
  • Alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer
  • Every hour a person in the UK dies from an alcohol-related condition
  • About 200,000 hospital admissions a year in the North West are related to alcohol.
  • One in four in the North West are drinking at levels which pose considerable risk to our health, safety and wellbeing, leading to unnecessary alcohol related deaths, illnesses and injuries as well as increased crime, family breakdown and unemployment
  • Alcohol misuse leads to higher rates and council tax, due to the public purse having to police, and clear up after drink-related anti-social behaviour

Responding to the threat

To help Lancashire's employers tackle this serious issue, the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN) is encouraging businesses to participate in Alcohol Concern's Dry January campaign.

Businesses signing up with NWC AHSN will receive a  Ditch the Drink toolkit containing lots of useful resources plus information on how to run an internal campaign. The NWC AHSN has also developed a fun Psst web app to profile people’s drinking personalities and encourage people to engage with the campaign. The Psst web app is available at http://www.psstquiz.com/ and will get staff talking about alcohol and drinking safely. You can use this on your emails and internal communications.

The impact of Dry January

Dry January has been described by many as a life changing event. Research with participants tells us that after a dry month:

  • 81% say they saved money
  • 63% got better sleep
  • 46% lost weight
  • 62% had more energy
  • 85% felt they benefited from the sense of achievement
  • 92% were keen to participate again.

[PHE study, 2015 data supplied by Alcohol Concern] It, doesn’t stop there - six months after participating:

  • 60% of those followed up are drinking less
  • 53% of those followed up report being drunk less often than before participating
  • More than 6 in 10 of those followed up find it easier to refuse alcohol after participating.

[University of Sussex, Richard de Visser, 2014] The benefits of Dry January speak for themselves and for employers it will mean more alert, positive staff. Together, we can contribute to a culture change in the North West and reduce alcohol-related harms in the region.

Get involved

To pledge your support to Dry January now and support your staff to be healthier in the New Year and beyond!

Contact michelle.coleiro@nwcahsn.nhs.uk for more information on the support provided by the NWC AHSN Staff can sign up to Dry January at www.dryjanuary.org.uk

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