Local Health Unit Supports Dry January

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is supporting a campaign to go dry for a month.

New research has found taking part in 'Dry January', which involves staying away from alcohol for a month, can help people lose weight, sleep better, boost energy, save money and reduce drinking long-term.

The research was done by the University of Sussex and surveyed British adults.

Speaking on the Afternoon News, the health unit's Health Promotion Specialist Melissa Valentik says the campaign helps people to become aware of their decisions.

"Certainly it is not a bad practice, but in general, we do know that it is important to be mindful of our drinking habits throughout the whole year and to really limit your drinking and follow the low risk drinking guidelines."

She says, unfortunately, having drinks has become part of our culture.

"Alcohol is the most commonly consumed substance of all of them and unfortunately, it has become this really normalized behaviour and people don't think it is an issue to have a hangover even the next day or that it is really impacting your health in a big way."

Valentik says the impacts are felt locally.

"Even in our own Windsor-Essex County, we have the highest rates of ER visits and hospitalizations are from alcohol and people don't realize that and you get shocked when you here it, because it has become a big part of our culture and that."

The British survey showed people who took part in 'Dry January' also reported drinking less months later, with alcohol consumption lower in August.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides