It’s that time of year, when we all enthusiastically make our New Year’s resolutions.
Most of them don’t last must beyond the first week.
This year, the NHS South East Commissioning Support Group is setting a challenge that we could all live up to – and which would do us all the world of good.
The medics want us to pledge to Dry January – and give up alcohol for 31 days.
Dr David Chesover is going dry for January
NHS spokesman Sophie Lyon said: “It’s your chance to lose weight, feel better, save money and make a difference.”
To set an example, two local doctors from the commissioning group’s governing body have signed up.
Dr Tony Jones of The Vine Medical Centre in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, and Dr David Chesover of the Thornhills Medical Practice in Martin Square, Larkfield, have both pledged to go dry for January.
Dr Jones said: “There are significant health risks associated with excess alcohol consumption. We should all drink less.”
The rate of death due to alcoholic liver disease is rising at around 5% per annum, i.e. doubling every 20 years.
Every other cause of death whether it be cancer, vascular disease or respiratory diseases has been on a steady decline year on year, alcohol-related death is the only one on the increase.
Dr Tony Young: Look after your liver
Dr Jones said: “The worrying thing is that many people now have hazardous drinking patterns and cheaper alcohol with increasing patterns of binge drinking make hazardous drinking an increasingly common problem.
“You will appreciate that death due to alcoholic liver disease is not the only health problem related to hazardous drinking that is on the rise.
“Elderly care psychiatrists are seeing increasing numbers of alcohol related dementias and there are increasing numbers of patients in our hospital beds with alcoholic liver failure.”
To sign up to the pledge, visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk