Drinkers are being urged to get healthier and save money by taking part in Dry January.
Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, and Northumberland County Council are urging friends, family and work colleagues to take part in the challenge, which saw 180,000 people take part last year.
People who take a month off the booze can look forward to feeling healthier, saving money, sleeping better and losing a few pounds.
Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Drinking can often creep up on people into a daily habit and more than one in four people in the North East are drinking above the guidelines of 14 units a week.
“We’re encouraging people to get family, friends and colleagues on board too. It can be a real motivating factor taking on a challenge together and we know that it can make us more likely to succeed.
“Every year it feels like more and more people we know are taking part in Dry January. It is a chance to break the feeling of relying on a drink, give our bodies a chance to recover, and to feel fitter.”
Coun Veronica Jones, cabinet member for Adult Wellbeing and Health, said: “January is the perfect time to make a healthy start to the year ahead.
“We’re urging Northumberland residents to have a go at reducing the amount of alcohol they drink and enjoy all the benefits that will bring.”
Northumberland County Council’s Director of Public Health, Liz Morgan said: “By going dry for just one month, people can change their relationship with alcohol.”
“Alcohol is a risk factor for many aspects of poor health like cancer, high blood pressure and depression but there is also an easy way to reduce this risk – reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
“This great campaign will again urge people to think about how much they drink and help them to stay off alcohol for a month.
“It’s a good way to change drinking habits for the better after the month is over and a really effective way of helping people to do something positive about their own health.”
People who sign up to Dry January are more likely to make it through to the end of the month without drinking. People can sign up for Dry January at dryjanuary.org.uk, or by downloading the new app ‘Try Dry: The DryJanuary app’ via the App Store or Google Play.
Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said: “Put simply, Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result, many of them making permanent life changes.
“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.”