Alcohol-free November begins in Hungary
In England it is held in January or October, in Hungary November is the dry month, an initiative which tries to show the so-called risk drinkers what life is like without alcohol. The program will be held this year too in Hungary and the goal is to show people who drink alcohol on a daily basis how their health can change in one month, index.hu reports.
The idea of people becoming abstinent for a month originates from Great Britain. The campaign was started in 2013 by British charity Alcohol Concern with the aim of reducing the health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption in the country. In the UK, January and October are the dry months instead of November, and in 2015 more than 2 million Britons have been involved in the action.
Thanks to the Blue Point Foundation, the initiative arrived to Hungary as well, in the form of a dry November.
The essence of the dry month is not the helping of alcoholics, but to target those who drink frequently, but not too much. A month of not consuming alcohol resulted for many people in a better night’s sleep, more energy, loss of weight, saving money, or more beautiful skin and hair. Research of the Royal Free Hospital in London shows that people taking part in dry January reported better concentration capability, sleep, decrease of cholesterol and blood glucose, lower blood pressure, and loss of weight. According to Sussex University’s research, 72 per cent of dry January participants had reduced the consumption of alcohol in six months.
In Hungary, the first initiation was in 2014, but according to Ferenc Dávid, biopolitical expert at Blue Point, the movement first received a bigger attention in 2016. Since in Hungary there was no such campaign before, they announced a dry November similar to the British action dry October.
In Hungary, the action mostly targets the risk-drinkers, meaning people who drink at least one beer 4-5 days a week.
“It is usually the most surprising for them to feel craving after alcohol withdrawal. This is why community energies work so well and help many people to talk to each other about the events of dry November” – says Dávid.
He also said that January, for instance, is not a right time for starting such an action, because it is right after the festive season’s joyful mood, and also many people would probably not take it seriously, just drop it like a New Year’s Pledge. “November is optimal, because one can prepare for the holidays coming in December. In Britain, October is more about being sober, for us, it is about joy without alcohol.”
Gábor Zacher toxicologist said, in connection with the movement, that it is a good idea, but it would be even better to start a dry 2018, because the whole country could use a more moderate alcohol consumption. He also thinks that such a program can create a feeling of exclusion for hard drinkers. He believes that these people need hospital treatment, not simply putting the drinks down at home, so it is important to emphasise that the movement mainly concerns the people who only drink 3-4 beers a week.
Dry November officially started on November 1 at 7 am.