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2 January 2014, 06:00
Balance, the North East's alcohol office, are calling on people in the North East to give up booze for the whole of January.
The scheme's in support of Alcohol Concern's Dry January campaign.
Dry January challenges people to use the aftermath of December's excesses as time to consider their alcohol intake and start the New Year with a healthier approach.
Last year, around two thirds of those who took part managed to complete a full 31 days off the drink, with many saying that taking part had made them think differently about their alcohol consumption.
Many of the participants didn't miss drinking and around four fifths decided to cut down considerably on a long-term basis.
The campaign is being supported by Balance as well as health professionals and public bodies in Newcastle and Gateshead who are championing vintage tea parties and other activities as an alternative to boozy nights out in January.
The Leader of Gateshead Council, cabinet member for health, Director of Public Health, Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive and a number of strategic managers and councillors from Gateshead Council are taking part.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, told Capital:
"New Year is the perfect time to take stock of our health, particularly how much alcohol we are drinking, and accepting the challenge posed by Dry January is a fantastic way to reconsider our usual attitudes towards alcohol.
Drinking more than the recommended limits - on a daily or almost daily basis - can have some serious long term implications for our health, including mouth and breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. In the short term, drinking too much can cause anxiety, impotence or even death from alcohol poisoning.
Taking a break from drinking or reducing your intake is good for your long term health - but there are also a range of immediate benefits such as feeling better in the mornings, having more energy during the day and possibly losing weight."