According to statistics recorded in a Sussex University survey people have a two in three chance of successfully completing a Dry January.
The study looked at 857 UK adults taking part in the challenge. Around two-thirds of the sample successfully gave up drinking for one month.
Compared with those who failed to abstain, those who were successful were, unsurprisingly, more likely to drink less, have lower dependence scores, and be more able to refuse alcohol to start with.
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Both successful abstainers and those who did not succeed in the challenge also had increased powers of abstinence and reduced consumption patterns up to six months later, albeit to a slightly lesser extent in those who did not succeed.
An estimated five million people in the UK took part in Dry January in 2017.
One expert in addiction and mental health, York University lecturer Ian Hamilton said: “I think it would help if there was a more robust evaluation of what goes on after Dry January.
“Many people who sign up to it probably don’t have that great a problem with alcohol so they find it relatively easy.”
Those with an alcohol problem were unlikely to be helped by the campaign, he said, adding that even if they signed up, it was inadvisable for dependent drinkers to give up alcohol abruptly since it could result in side effects ranging from headaches to convulsions.
The NHS has said that whether you are taking part in Dry January or not, keeping your alcohol consumption within recommended limits is wise all year round.