A new local lifestyle blog is inviting islanders to take part in a Dry January Community Challenge to encourage breaks from, and alternatives to, alcoholic drinks.
Kat Gillespie, founder of 'Rethink the Drink', hopes to support people as they take on the traditional 'Dry January' challenge, as research suggests that more people than ever in the UK are planning to "reset their relationship with alcohol" in the new year.
According to Alcohol Change UK, the national charity behind the challenge, one in five people who drink in the UK are planning to take part. This comes after the pressures and restrictions of the pandemic have led many people to drink more heavily this year "to try and cope".
Almost one in three people say that they have drunk more in 2020 than in 2019, and over one in five have been concerned about the amount they have been drinking since restrictions began in March of this year. As the new year approaches, over a quarter have said that they would like to cut down on alcohol in 2021.
This is why Ms Gillespie is encouraging islanders to 'rethink the drink'. Those who sign up to Dry January via the Rethink the Drink website will receive "inspirational, supportive" emails including advice, facts, alcohol-free alternatives and information that's relevant to Guernsey.
"It's so easy to slip into the 'wine o'clock' habits and look forward to a drink when you get home from work, or when the kids have gone to bed," she said.
"Unfortunately for many, 'just the one' turns into two or three most evenings. When those habits are done repeatedly, it becomes more difficult to break free. That's where we want to help, by setting small challenges and offering encouragement and support to try to break those habits.
"I think for many there's a bit of stigma attached to feeling dependent on alcohol, and these people are often too embarrassed or too ashamed to ask for help and support. There is no shame in seeking help. It is far easier to stop drinking when you have some support."
Islanders who are struggling with their relationship with alcohol are encouraged to speak to their GP, or alternatively, they can seek support anonymously from In-Dependence, Guernsey Alcohol Advisory Services, Action for Children, or Alcoholics Anonymous.
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