Taking a break from booze
Why should I give up for a month?
It’s easy to overlook the risks of alcohol as many of the health issues are longer-term. Stopping for a month – or even just having a two or three week break – can bring some short-term benefits though. People taking a break say they sleep better, and feel more energised. Other benefits include clearer skin, weight loss, and of course not waking up feeling sluggish with a hangover.
And depending on how much you usually spend on that bottle of wine for dinner, or that night out clubbing, you could also save a bit of money too – perfect for paying off your credit card bills from December’s excesses!
We want your Sober Start to bring some longer lasting changes too. People who give up for a fixed time often find it easier to drink less, or less often, throughout the rest of the year. It’s useful to learn that you can have just as fun a time without having to drink or get drunk.
Plus – if you get sponsored to raise money for Antidote you’ll be supporting some great work for LGBT people who experience problems with drug and alcohol use. Sign up here!
There are an estimated nine million adults in England drinking above lower risk levels and putting their future health in jeopardy. Evidence shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people are more likely to be drinking at more, and more frequently, than the population as a whole and therefore at a higher risk of harm.
Alcohol is the third biggest risk factor for illness and death in the UK (after smoking and raised blood pressure). Consumption has doubled since 1950. Alcohol counts for 7% of all hospital admissions (1.2million) and is estimated to cost the health service £3.5bilion per annum. The total societal cost is estimated at £21billion per annum.
The impact of alcohol on health is wide-ranging. Many people are aware that alcohol causes liver problems, but fewer people are aware of its contribution to cancer. There is also increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
Alcohol misuse also harms families and communities. Violence and aggression (including alcohol-related crime and disorder) and domestic violence increase with drunkenness and with heavier drinking in general.
Donate to London Friend and help us provide Antidote, the UK's only specialist LGBT drug and alcohol service.