A grim statistic recently revealed that alcohol killed more people in 2020 in England and Wales than any other year on record, with the total number of deaths relating to alcohol reaching 7,423. The data also shows that the use and dependence on alcohol is on the rise in the UK; in England alone there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers, only 18% of which are receiving treatment. This is a wake up call for us all to check in on ourselves with the amount of alcohol we are consuming, as well as looking around at our friends and family and considering the good influence you could have on them to reduce their alcohol intake and choose healthier options.
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a tough year for everyone with the Covid pandemic, businesses shutting down, being unable to see friends and family and the news getting ever-bleaker, so the rise of alcohol use may not come as a particular surprise. Everybody’s relationship with alcohol is different, whether they use it for socialising, de-stressing, coping or any number of other reasons. But having a break from alcohol can do you a world of good, benefiting your physical and mental health, as well potentially breaking a cycle of alcohol dependence that people are often unaware or in denial of. Even if you only drink for social reasons, you may not notice your alcohol intake creeping up to unhealthy levels, so there’s no harm in having a break.
That’s where Sober October comes in. This initiative was created as a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, a wonderful charity that provides support to people living with cancer. The goal is to raise money whilst also challenging yourself to go sober for the whole month of October, benefiting everyone involved. The campaign began in 2014 and grew in popularity, partly thanks to the American comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, and so far all the sober superstars have raised an incredible £33million for Macmillan, no doubt improving many lives for the better.
If you still need convincing, here are just some of the benefits of going booze-free for a month:
- Improved decision making
- Increased creativity
- Better & healthier eating patterns
- Better looking skin
- Liver function recovered
- More energy and improved physical performance
- Decreased calorie intake so potential weight loss
- Better hydration and relief from headaches (no more hangovers!)
- Money saved
These are some of the personal benefits to taking on the challenge but the benefits to raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support could also make a huge impact on someone else’s life. The pandemic had a detrimental impact for people living with cancer, with thousands having their treatment delayed. The money you raise for the charity through Sober October will go towards Macmillan Nurses, information and support centres, support lines, cancer information resources, Macmillan healthcare professionals, financial support and campaigning for change. So whilst taking on this challenge, you can be confident that you are helping to make a real difference to people’s lives and the more people you can convince to get involved the better! You can find out more information and sign up on the Macmillan website, so why not get involved and raise much needed funds for a great charity, whilst also improving your own health? And help is needed now more than ever, so dust off your cape and get ready to be a Soberhero this October!
Chloe is a content creator with a passion for writing, photography, graphic design and making music. She loves experimenting with creative media and has a desire to work in the music and media industries in the future.