Dump Dry January for Safe Sex and Moderate Drinking

January 5th 2017

Is there anything more tedious than a social media post announcing the individual is doing the January Dryathlon (or Dry July). “Hey, everyone, I’m not drinking for the next 31 days…” which means please reply with praise. It’s as bad as the post “Feeling sad…”, which fishes for online sympathy. That’s an automatic unfollow in my books.

I’m all for raising money for charity – I regularly donate to the Salvation Army, Mind and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The latter has a toddler-sized Postman Pat donation box at the local train station, which I visit at least twice a week with a 2-year-old. We never board a train but Pat Clifton’s postbag is always jingling by the time we leave.

But if you think that not drinking alcohol for 31 days is worthy of sponsorship, you really need to take a good look at your drinking habits long term. Doctors say that if you drink in moderation, your liver does not ‘need a rest’. Perhaps it’s your conscience that you’re trying to cleanse.

And if you’re abstaining from drinking alcohol in January when you normally enjoy a couple of glasses of wine every night/week, this means you’ll save money. Instead of asking people to sponsor you and boost your self-esteem on Facebook, why don’t you donate the money that you save on booze to the charity?

Not drinking for 31 days shouldn’t be that hard, if you don’t have a drink problem. If you really want to raise money for a good cause, set up a regular payment with your bank with one of the many worthy charities that fundraise, or do something worthy of my sponsor money like run a marathon.

What’s more, alcohol in moderation – particularly red wine – may have health benefits although it does have calories in it so if it’s weight you’re trying to lose in 2017, less booze – and fewer Greggs steak bakes – isn’t a bad idea. The British Liver Trust also recommends a healthy diet comprising lots of fruit and vegetables to keep your liver in shape, as well as exercise, and two to three alcohol free days a week. And (safe) sex. I’ll drink to that.



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