The Dry January Story

Dry January started in January 2013 with 4,000 people. It has come a long way since then, with more than 100,000 members and 4 million attending in 2020.

2011
In 2011, Emily Robinson enrolled in the first half marathon. It will take place in February. She didn’t like running, so she decided to quit drinking in January to facilitate training. She loses weight, sleeps better, and feels she has more energy to run.

But something else happens …

Everyone wants to talk to him about what it’s like to stop drinking a little bit.

2012
In January 2012, Emily joined Alcohol Change UK. He decided to stop drinking again this January. Now that She works for Alcohol Change UK, people want to talk to her about stopping drinking for a month. This ignites many different conversations about the benefits of taking a break from drinking, especially after Christmas.

This got us thinking. If more people take a break in January, could more people think of their drink? And after a month of leave, would they drink less because they actually enjoyed the break?

The idea of ​​the Dry January campaign was born.

2013
Dry January kicked off the first year of the campaign while talking about Alastair Campbell’s past drink and with columnist Peter Oborne’s trial of the moon without drinking.

A discussion begins about the benefit of giving up alcohol for a month. Could a month without alcohol really make a difference in the long run?

Volunteered free of charge to survey people who attended the Dry January to see the effects of participating in the campaign on them running by Dr. Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex.

De Visser discovered that six months after the campaign ended, seven out of ten people continued to drink in a less risky way than before. Almost a quarter of those who drank “harmful” before the campaign is now in the low-risk category.

2014
Everyone talks about Dry January. Some people question whether this means hiding for a month. But we say no, the whole point of a month’s leave, having a test at some point, an activity or a meal, and the trick is, can you cut that drink down? As Prof Matt Field explains, willpower is a muscle, it needs exercise.

An article in the journal New Scientist suggests that it can have an impact on your body as well as your mind.

“What you have is a pretty average British group that doesn’t consider themselves heavy drinkers, but stopping drinking for a month changes their liver fat, cholesterol, and blood sugar and helps them lose weight. In a month, they would take it in.” Professor Kevin Moore, Liver Health Services Consultant, University College London Medical Center


The campaign is growing, with numerous local authorities and NHS organizations partnering and partnering with Alcohol Change UK to promote Dry January in their local area.

2015
The organization partner with Public Health England and create the first Dry January radio advertisements to bring the campaign to more people than ever before! This allows more people to join the campaign than ever before.

2016
And then there was an app! 14,000 people use the app to motivate them to stay connected and change their drinks.

Major pub chains announced that they were stockpiling non-alcoholic beers in response to customer demand throughout January.

Royal Free Hospital’s new research supports how good drinking is for the body; a positive effect on blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and liver as well as improvements in concentration and sleep patterns.

2017
A YouGov poll showed that more than four million Britons took part in Dry January this year.

2018
Once again, over four million people in the UK did through the Dry January app and 40,000 through the Dry January app and daily emails. Read their stories. You can also read independent research conducted by the University of Sussex in 2018 that showed Dry January helps people drink healthier year-round.

2019
This year saw the launch of Try Dry: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze, published by SquarePeg, the Dry January podcast, and nearly 80,000 people signed up to receive our daily emails or use the new app Try Dry. This year also saw our year-round offering for those who want to reduce or quit alcohol, with the Try Dry app to help you track alcohol consumption and make changes all year round.

You can also read the independent research conducted by the University of Sussex in 2019 comparing Dry January participants to a control group, and in addition to evidence that Dry January participants drank less even six months after the challenge.

2020
The largest Dry January ever saw more than 100,000 people signing up for the campaign.

Sign Up alcoholchange.org.uk

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