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Do booze-free campaigns work? Sussex psychologist to evaluate Dry January

As many of us enter the season of excess and office parties, a Sussex psychologist is already looking ahead to the post-Christmas detox.

Dry January – Alcohol Concern’s annual campaign to encourage people to give up booze for the first month of the year – will be independently evaluated in 2014 by Dr Richard de Visser.

Dr de Visser, an expert on health-related behaviour, hopes to find out if the campaign has a positive long-term effect.

He aims to answer the following questions:

  • why do people decide to take on the challenge of Dry January?
  • what are people's plans for drinking afterwards?
  • how many people complete Dry January?
  • how does taking part affect later drinking? 

Dr de Visser will talk with participants about their drinking at the start and end of January, and then again in the summer in order to assess the campaign’s long-term impact on drinking behaviour. He will also conduct interviews with some participants to find out more about what helps or hinders “success” during Dry January.

Now in its second year, Dry January is aimed at people who do not have an alcohol dependency problem but who feel that they might be drinking a bit too much, too often.

Nearly 4,500 people took part last year and 82% of those said that they intended to cut down on drinking as a result.

To find out more and to sign up, visit the Dry January website.

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Posted on behalf of: School of Psychology
Last updated: Monday, 9 December 2013