The research, compiled independently by the University of Sussex, showed 4% of participants had remained tee-total six months after taking part in Dry January. It also showed 72% of participants had sustained reduced levels of harmful drinking 23% of people who had “harmful” alcohol consumption when they started Dry January were now in the “low risk” category.
Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: “The long term effects of Dry January have previously been questioned, with people asking if a month booze-free would cause people to binge drink once the 1st February comes around. This research is the proof of how, with the help, advice and support we offer throughout the month, our model can really change behaviour and reduce drinking.
“Given the huge burden alcohol misuse has on society as a whole, we need the government to take action at a national level, but we also believe Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign can really help individuals take a positive step towards cutting down their drinking and improve their health.”
Dr Richard De Visser, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex who led the research, said: “What’s really interesting to see is that these changes in alcohol consumption were also seen in the participants who didn’t complete the whole month alcohol free. Even if participants took part but didn’t successfully complete the 31 days, it generally led to a significant decrease across all the measures of alcohol intake.”