Medical Specialists® Pharmacy inundated for Selincro requests for Dry January
Now that the festive work office party, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are firmly out of the way, many will now be taking stock of exactly how much alcohol they have drank during the last few weeks, with some people undoubtedly thinking about cutting down on drinking. With the beginning of a New Year, there is never a better time than now to put into action the process of reducing alcohol intake, or even stopping drinking for good, and much of the country will no doubt have ‘cut down on boozing’ near the top of their list of resolutions. Another popular choice of resolution is ‘lose weight’ and reducing alcohol intake can actually help to reach this goal due to the high amount of calories in alcohol. In addition to January being the month when the nation usually kick-starts their resolutions, the first month of the year is also known as ‘Dry January’ due to the annual campaign of the same name, pioneered by the small national charity Alcohol Concern, who challenge all drinkers to abstain from booze for the entire 31 days of January. Yes, that means no quick cheeky pint after work with colleagues, or an ‘unwinding’ glass of wine with an evening meal, or a heavy session out on the town with mates. It should be remembered though that this is an awareness raising campaign and a fundraiser for Alcohol Concern. It is not a medical detox programme and those with severe drinking problems may need to go to a hospital or clinic to detox as the withdrawal symptoms will be severe and probably require specialist treatment. For those that do undertake the Dry January challenge, there will be plenty of benefits to be felt in the short-term. Abstainers could look forward to better sleep, weight loss, a boost in skin and hair quality, and let’s not forget all the money saved from not spending it on alcohol – just think of all the other things that can be bought with the extra pennies! As it is only a month off the booze, it is unlikely that any major change in liver function will occur in the 31 days though. However, everybody needs a break at times, and the human body is no different. Therefore, Medical Specialists® Pharmacy encourage the nation to get on board with Dry January and it may even have a positive effect to future drinking habits. Research has shown that those who successfully complete the challenge actually manage to cut down on their drinking in the future, drinking less alcohol each day, getting into a drunken state less frequently and having more willpower to be able to say “no” to having an alcoholic drink. It is not just members of the general public though that are seemingly embracing Dry January. One famous face has surprisingly decided to test himself and see if he go 31 days without any alcohol. UKip leader Nigel Farage is the famous face in question, deciding to go teetotal for the first month of the year. Farage is possibly the most surprising celebrity banishing the booze for a month considering the controversial politician - even during campaigning - is often snapped joyously at the pub with a glass of ale in his hand, perhaps helping his image as a more approachable and jolly party leader. However, like many of us, Farage has admitted to a season of overindulgence and has now temporarily given up drink. Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I started before the New Year. I'm not being particularly virtuous, it's just I need a break. It does us all good to have a break now and then.” Medical Specialists® Pharmacy are fully behind the Dry January campaign, and have already witnessed a huge surge in the requests for alcohol dependency treatment Selincro during the last few weeks especially, as thousands around the country prepare for a dry month. However, we understand that this can be difficult for some to achieve without some motivation, which is why Alcohol Concern have provided an alcohol unit calculator on their website. All people need to do is tally up the number of drinks they have consumed, say on a typical Friday or Saturday night out, and see the probable alarming number of units and calories this equates to. As many look to lose weight in the New Year following the Christmas excesses, seeing the shocking total calories that drinking adds will no doubt provide the final motivation to truly achieve a completely dry January!