DDN February 2022 February 2022 - Page 18



Last month we had to say goodbye to our much-loved friend and colleague Marcus , who died on 3 December from a short and sudden illness . Many of you will have met him as part of the DDN Conference team and while working with us over the past 15 years . Funny , original , creative , loyal and great company , he was generous in sharing his own experiences and battles with the treatment system to try and improve services . He is a great loss and not just to those of us who knew him well . Our condolences to his beloved wife and soulmate Maddy , who will always be in our thoughts .
HOW DRY WAS YOUR JANUARY ? ‘ The number one sign of a successful Dry January is that you ’ ve learned something about yourself that you can use in the future to take , or keep , control of your drinking ,’ says Dr Richard Piper , chief executive of Alcohol Concern UK . The charity runs the campaign , which began with 4,000 people taking part in 2013 and has now attracted participation from more than 130,000 .
Although I had participated in Dry January before , I had never downloaded the Alcohol Change UK app . By downloading this app , I received motivational emails from Alcohol Change UK nearly on a daily basis and these really did help me feel good about myself and the positive effects that not drinking alcohol was having on my body . Although I only used to drink around eight units on a weekend , the temptation was still there at times , so I definitely did appreciate the ‘ keep going , you ’ re doing well ’ emails from Alcohol Change UK ! Cerys Humphreys , by email
I have never taken part in Dry January . I know that many people have a problematic relationship with alcohol , and I appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to enjoy alcohol at a moderate and safe level . Discussing the campaign with my friends and colleagues we agreed the idea of ‘ giving up ’ alcohol in the middle of winter was not an appealing one , so I didn ’ t .
Out of curiosity I did read some of the news reports and stories covering the campaign in DDN and the national press , and following that I looked at the Alcohol Change website , downloaded the app , and did a quick tally of when I was drinking and why . The result was that I was surprised at the amount I was casually consuming and the occasions that I associate with having a drink .
While I didn ’ t feel the need to commit to a completely dry January , the campaign did help me to look at my drinking and resulted in several positive changes . Did I really need a ‘ swift one ’ at the cinema before the film started ? Does a gin and tonic really take the edge off a Monday ? I also discovered it is possible to meet a friend somewhere other than the pub !
Despite not completing dry January I am grateful to the campaign for helping me to look at my alcohol consumption and as a result make several meaningful changes that will continue with me long after the month itself . Sarah King , by email
DDN welcomes all your comments . Please email the editor , claire @ cjwellings . com , join any of the conversations on our Facebook page , or send letters to DDN , CJ Wellings Ltd , Romney House , School Road , Ashford , Kent TN27 0LT . Longer comments and letters may be edited for space or clarity .
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