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Cornwall's drinking habits as 'Dry January' starts

Cornwall's drinking habits as 'Dry January' starts

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:11am 5th January 2019. (Updated at 7:28am 5th January 2019)

Almost 40,000 people in Cornwall are expected to quit drinking for Dry January this year.

Around one in ten drinkers in the UK is planning to start the new year with an entire month of sobriety, according to the charity Alcohol Change UK.

That is a grand total of 4.2 million people kicking their booze habit.

In Cornwall, an estimated 87% of adults drink alcohol, according to the most recent figures from Public Health England.

This would mean around 38,200 drinkers could be planning to go cold turkey from New Year's Day.

Alcohol Change UK, which runs the challenge, says those taking part can expect to feel healthier, save money, and improve their relationship with alcohol in the long term.

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said that put simply, Dry January can change lives.

"Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol - seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems - but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too.

"Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight. The list goes on".

Dr Richard Piper

What do the figures show?

Alcohol abstinence in Cornwall is less popular than in other parts of the country.

Only around 13% of people say they live booze-free lives, compared to 15% across England.

However, the area has a lower than average population of heavy drinkers.

Around 23% of people say they drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week- the NHS' recommended safe limit - compared to 26% across England.

That is the equivalent of more than six pints of average strength beer or six standard glasses of wine.

NHS guidelines also advise against binge drinking, which it defines as drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk.

But in Cornwall, 17% of adults surveyed admitted to binge drinking on their heaviest day of drinking in the last week.

"The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it's not really about January.

"Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise.

"That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to".

Dr Richard Piper

You can read the full figures for Cornwall's drinking habits here.

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