Kick-start the new year by taking the Dry January Challenge

Can you quit booze for January?
Can you quit booze for January?

Adults across Lincolnshire are being encouraged to banish the booze for 31 days in support of Dry January.

More than 2 million people went booze-free in January 2015 and plenty of support is available for those thinking of taking on the challenge in 2016 which encourages people to talk about alcohol and supports them to think about the way they drink.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are all promoting the Dry January campaign across the county.

Steve Knight, communications officer at LCHS, is taking on the challenge. He said: “January is the ideal time for me to give up the booze for my general health and bank balance. I’ve done the challenge twice now and it wasn’t as hard as I thought.

“I saved money and felt better in myself. Like most people do I over-indulged over the festive period so giving your liver a break is a great idea.”

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LPFT) dedicated Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) provides support and treatment for adults experiencing drug or alcohol problems across the county.

Service manager Cathy Hobbs said: “With so much alcohol around at this time of year it is also a good time to think about cutting down, or seeking help if you think that your drinking may be getting out of control.

“You can refer yourself to DART directly by dropping in to one of the county’s resource centres, by phone or email, or by visiting your GP. If you want to make a change in 2016 please do get in touch.”

Dr Sreedharan, consultant gastroenterologist at ULHT, has some top tips to keep your liver in shape after the festive season. He said: “You can look after your liver by following these simple steps:

• Enjoy alcohol in moderation and make sure you have two to three alcohol-free days in a week, allowing time for your liver to repair itself;

• Ensure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help your liver balance the effects of sugary treats;

• Remember to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B before your holiday abroad to protect your liver from these infections.

“Love your liver. Enjoy your life.”

Dr Kevin Hill, chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, added: “Taking a month off drinking not only has a positive effect on people’s health, but also on the wallet and waistline.

“Alcohol-related illnesses are putting a huge strain on the NHS, not just from visits to A&E, but from a significant number of other conditions requiring treatment in which alcohol plays a major, but often unremarked part.

“With almost ten million alcohol-related hospital admissions nationally we can see just how serious an impact unsafe levels of alcohol consumption is having on our health system.”