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Published 20th Dec 2017

At the bar: L-R Middlesbrough Director of Public Health Edward Kunonga, former Boro star Steve Vickers and Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Front row: L-R MFC Foundation Co-ordinator Liam Watson, Teesside University Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator Hazel Wright, Middlesbrough Council Public Health Officer Fiona Helyer, Middlesbrough College Live Well Learn Well Co-ordinator James Hartley and Middlesbrough College Counselling and Wellbeing Co-ordinator Emma Betiku

Steve called in at the Oasis Dry Bar – pitchside at the Riverside Stadium – during Alcohol Awareness Week to get the ball rolling.

He said: “Ditching the drink for a Dry January has lots of benefits including better sleep, more energy, weight loss, and clearer skin.

“It helps to reduce the risk of developing health problems – and it’s also a great way to save some money into the bargain.” 

UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines say men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.

Drinkers should have several drink-free days each week as this will help to cut down the amount they drink, and for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to their baby to a minimum.  

Balance Partnerships Manager Sue Taylor said: “Whatever your motivation for taking part, a break from the drink for even just one month can have positive effects on our health.

“Alcohol can make us more tired, anxious and less energised and, for many people, joining in Dry January encourages them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes.

“We’ll be providing people with lots of tips and ideas in the run-up and throughout January and we want to hear your own ideas for great ways to spend a hangover free month.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Most of us enjoy a drink in moderation, but alcohol misuse can have long-lasting health, social and financial impacts on individuals, families and communities.

“Dry January is a great way to promote sensible drinking, and I would encourage as many people as possible to make this positive choice which could well lead to far-reaching health benefits.”

  • To sign up to Dry January, find out more about the campaign and to access a wealth of support and advice, visit the Dry January website at

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