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Dry January: one in six to avoid alcohol

A new survey has revealed 17% of UK adults plan to abstain from drinking alcohol for the month of January 2023.

Dry January partner Lyre's
Dry January partner Lyre’s boasts a 16-strong portfolio of non-alcoholic ‘spirits

The survey of 2,000 people over the age of 18 was commissioned by charity Alcohol Change UK. Of the 2,000 UK adults, 1,483 said they were drinkers.

Last year’s survey carried out on behalf of Alcohol Change found one in six (18%) adults were planning to have a month-long break from drinking in January 2022. In 2021, it was one in five adults.

The latest poll found 30% of adults said they were looking to cut their alcohol intake generally in 2023, compared with 25% a year ago.

Half of adults surveyed said they took measures to manage their drinking, including alcohol-free days (25%), drinking less on occasions where they are drinking alcohol (16%), having alcohol-free weeks or months (15%), or a sober night out (10%).

One in six (16%) people who consume alcohol said this had led to them drinking more to cope with worries around the cost-of-living crisis, and 14% have prioritised purchasing alcohol over essential items, such as groceries.

For one in three young adults who drink (36%), post-drinking anxiety (‘hangxiety’) was a factor in their choice to cut alcohol consumption.

Hangxiety seemed to be more frequent among drinkers aged 34 and under (40%), compared with 12% of those aged 35 and over.

For those aged 18 to 34, 36% said hangxiety was a contributing factor in their decision to reduce their drinking.

Alcohol Change UK’s Dry January campaign will mark 10 years next month. In the first year, 4,000 people signed up to take part in the month-long initiative, growing to more than 130,000 in 2022.

Alcohol Change UK has partnered with non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ brand Lyre’s, zero-ABV ready-to-drink brand Mocktails and alcohol-free beer brand Lucky Saint for Dry January 2023.

The American on-trade saw a US$295m increase in sales of non-alcoholic products during January 2022 compared with the same month in 2019, according to new research.

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