Sunderland urged to ditch the drink for 2014

TEA FOR THREE: From left, Nonnie Crawford, director of public health for Sunderland, Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, and Coun Graeme Miller get ready for Dry January.
TEA FOR THREE: From left, Nonnie Crawford, director of public health for Sunderland, Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, and Coun Graeme Miller get ready for Dry January.
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WEARSIDERS are being challenged to ditch the booze and lead healthier lives in 2014.

North East alcohol office Balance is holding another Dry January, using the aftermath of the festive season’s excesses as a time to encourage people to look at their alcohol intake and start the new year with a sober approach.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Many of us are guilty of overdoing it a bit in December, so we’re asking people in Sunderland to think about how they plan to start the new year now, before the temptations of Christmas drinking takes hold.”

He added: “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.”

Balance has joined forces with Sunderland City Council to encourage people in the city to sign up to Dry January and consider other options where alcohol would usually feature.

Coun Graeme Miller, the council’s portfolio holder for health, says he is going to try to have an alcohol-free month. He said: “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. but I am looking forward to the health benefits, not to mention having more money in my pocket. and I hope people from across Sunderland will join me in signing up for Dry January.”