Staff and patients alike are being encouraged to abstain from alcohol in the new year as part of the annual Dry January campaign.
Supported by Public Health England (PHE) the campaign is fronted by Alcohol Concern UK and aims to get social drinkers to cut down on their consumption.
The campaign, now in its second year, comes after new figures from PHE show that £3.7 billion was spent on alcohol in December 2013, with total sales increasing by 28% from the previous month.
In Dry January 2013more than 17,000 took part in the campaign and PHE are expecting a spike in sign-ups this year as people start thinking about their post-Christmas habits.
Jackie Ballad, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “In the run up to Christmas, many people start drinking more than usual as they celebrate the festive season with parties and get-togethers.
“This is the perfect time to sign up to a holiday from alcohol. Dry January is not about never drinking again. It’s just an opportunity for people to reflect on their drinking patterns and to give their bodies a break from after the festive period.
“We know from previous years that people who do dry January will feel better, lose weight and save money.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Well-being at PHE said: “As with any commitment to a healthier lifestyle change, people need some time to prepare themselves so that they are in the best position possible to successfully achieve their goal.
“People who sign up to dry January will receive the tips, ideas and encouragement to stay motivated and to make the most of their months off alcohol.”