This has long been the season of detox, dieting and giving up drinking. But this year avoiding alcohol for the month of January has become something of a competition.
It seems it is no longer enough to steer clear of the strong stuff — you have to tell everyone you’re doing it, too.
It’s been dubbed doing a ‘Dryathlon’ by one charity — and its ‘Dryathletes’ are appealing for sponsorship to help them stay on the straight and narrow.
There can’t be an office worker in the country who hasn’t had an email ping into their inbox from people looking for ‘support’ from their friends as they take on their ‘biggest challenge yet’ — staying off the sauce till February 1.
The craze is backed by two major charities who are avidly targeting Facebook and Twitter users to reach a whole new class of social drinker.
Cancer Research UK, which is running the Dryathlon campaign, is asking drinkers to raise money for alcohol-related cancer research by staying off booze this month.
Meanwhile, Alcohol Concern is running a very similar Dry January appeal to raise money and awareness in a bid to stop today’s social drinkers becoming the dependent drinkers of the future.
Some doctors have said that giving up the booze for January isn’t as good for us as we think. People who give up booze for one month are more likely to drink more when they start up again. “So maybe we should think twice about having a dry January” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.