Hampshire doctor says Dry January does not work

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GIVING up alcohol in January might not be the best new year’s resolution, according to a top Hampshire doctor.

Dr Mark Wright, a consultant in liver medicine at University Hospital Southampton, says that a month-long alcohol detox is not a ‘fix-all solution;.

Will you be slowing down on the pints this year? Picture: Keith Woodland

Will you be slowing down on the pints this year? Picture: Keith Woodland

Latest figures show 7,697 people died from alcohol-specific causes in the UK during 2017.

Dr Wright said: ‘Giving up alcohol for a dry January as some sort of detox is like maxing out your credit cards all year and thinking you can solve your financial problems by living like a hermit for a month.

‘It just isn't going to make things better if you then go back to your usual habits in February.

‘Many people who die from alcohol-related causes would not have considered themselves to have had a drink problem, just that they drank too much on a regular basis.

‘The danger is that abstaining for a month can make it seem like people have a grip on their levels of drinking but, in fact, it can be the perfect decoy to justify drinking far too much in the festive season with increased intake for the rest of the year – it is not a fix-all solution.’

But don’t open the cans of lager just yet… as Dr Wright still recommends taking action to cut down on your alcohol consumption.

He explained: ‘What people need to do is be aware of their consumption all year round, aiming to stick at about 14 units per week with three to four dry days.

‘That said, a dry January does give people an opportunity to examine their relationship with alcohol.

‘If anyone is planning a dry January and they only manage a few days, they should consider that they may have more of a problem with booze than they think.’