By Published:

More than half of all British drinkers who vowed to have a dry January had failed after only two weeks of abstinence, research into the nation’s boozing habits reveals.

One in nine adults (12%) had planned to remain alcohol-free throughout January, according to the national survey commissioned by the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service.

However, 52 per cent of those who challenged themselves not to drink alcohol for the entire month had fallen off the wagon at the halfway stage. The under 25s were the least successful, with a 64 per cent failure rate.

Worryingly, the research found that alcohol is causing issues for more than one in six drinkers (18%) – including relationship conflict, health problems and difficulties at work.

Nearly one in five (19%) of the 2,050 British adults who took part in the survey said they were concerned about a loved one’s drinking.

The research also found that:
• Half of those who made a 2015 resolution to cut down on alcohol consumption have broken it already
• One in four drinkers (26%) have alcohol most days, half of which regularly exceed recommended healthy limits
• One in seven drinkers (14%) say they only drink excessively on social occasions
• One in nine drinkers (12%) have at least half a bottle of wine, three pints of beer, or three large measures of spirits most evenings
• One in 25 drinkers (4%) usually have a bottle of wine a night

Dr Nitin Shori, Medical Director of the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service and a working NHS GP, said: “It’s a month when the nation talks more openly about their drinking habits, thanks to the dry January trend. While most don’t need or want to cut out alcohol in the long-term, it gets people thinking about how much they usually drink and whether they’d benefit from cutting down. It also proves how easy it is to give in to temptation!

“An unhealthy relationship with alcohol and regularly drinking too much can affect health and wellbeing, as well as impacting on wider aspects of life too. We’re seeing increasing numbers of patients seeking help from our online doctor service to reduce their alcohol intake – particularly since the launch of the Selincro pill last year, which helps to lessen the desire for a drink.

“Many find themselves in a pattern of excessive drinking that’s difficult to break. Recognising there’s a problem can be one of the biggest challenges though – and some only make a change after loved ones raise the issue.”

About the research
1 ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,050 adults aged 18+ in GB through online interviewing between 16th -18th January 2015. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.ICMunlimited.com
The survey was commissioned by Pharmacy2U