Comment

Letter: This Dry January, head to your local – no, really 

 Joe Marley of Alcohol Change UK says stopping drinking doesn’t mean you have to stop socialising

A bar in a pub
Photo by Ben Black on Unsplash

Dear Editor,  

You might be surprised by someone from Alcohol Change UK advocating this, but we’re more than half-way through Dry January – so maybe it’s time to head to the pub.  

Giving up alcohol shouldn’t mean giving up socialising. Pubs are increasingly supportive of Dry January, and for good reason. Our research shows that 44% of those going alcohol-free this month are more likely to visit a bar or pub if it serves a good selection of alcohol-free beers, wines or spirits.   

So how about seeing what’s behind the bar at your local? You might find a range of good options already on offer – there’s been a huge increase in the quality and availability of alcohol-free products over recent years. And they can help us cut down the amount of alcohol we drink, while making nights out more inclusive.  

But they’re still not universally easy to find. You can help change that. In fact, many of our supporters have told us that speaking to the landlord of their local has resulted in better alcohol-free options being stocked year-round.   

Of course, some of us doing Dry January will feel less comfortable in a pub because it might trigger cravings. Alcohol-free alternative drinks are not right for everyone, and that’s fine. But if you’d like to see improved options behind the bar, why not pop into your favourite pub and start a conversation with the staff? Your encouragement might just help make your local even better!  

Check out dryjanuary.org.uk for more info.   

Yours faithfully,   

Joe Marley, Director, Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January

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