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Dry January and Other Good Intentions

After a very wet December, more people are signing up to the Dry January. However, a research study from my home town University of Bristol reveals that intentions are not enough to reduce alcohol consumption. A study of 3,000 drinkers identified that 20 per cent wanted to reduce their alcohol use for a number reasons. This included health, weight loss, saving money and alcohol related problems. However, at six month follow up these good "intenders" had only reduced their alcohol consumption to the same degree as those who had no intention to change. This may be because they fell victim to the the vagaries of intrinsic motivation, which is often fallible. Alternatively, controlled drinking requires skills and direction. Controlled drinking shows very promising results for individuals who experience difficulties in these areas and perhaps need to be promoted much more widely.

To read the study, click here.

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