Dry January is a custom of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January
Dry January is a custom of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January, invented by Liam Kelly while at University in the early 90s, particularly practised in the United Kingdom
The custom, as a formal entity, appears to be relatively recent, being described as having sprung up in recent years even in 2014. Although the Finnish government launched a campaign called Sober January already in 1942 as part of its war effort. The term Dry January was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014; the first ever Dry January campaign by Alcohol Concern occurred in January 2013. In the leadup to the January 2015 campaign, for the first time Alcohol Concern partnered with Public Health England.
In January 2014 according to Alcohol Concern, which initiated the campaign, over 17,000 Britons stopped drinking for that month. While there is controversy as to the efficacy and benefits of the practice, a 2014 survey by the University of Sussex found that six months following January 2014, out of 900 surveyed participants in the custom, 72% had kept harmful drinking episodes down and 4% were still not drinking.
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