The Daily Mash has published an item under the headline 'Non-alcoholics enjoying pretend battle with drink'.
I do love the spoof idea of the once-a-year drinkers struggling with their alcoholic demons, or rather imps, throughout January, but I did begin to wonder who actually follows these campaigns to give up booze for a month. A friend of mine has told me he won't be drinking in January, but he's scarcely a heavy drinker; in fact, he doesn't very often exceed the official weekly guidelines. I can't think of anyone else who is giving up for January.
January abstainers may decide not to visit the pub at all for the duration, not even for a soft drink or a coffee, in order to avoid temptation, but people who live alone may then feel isolated: a month is a long time not to see your friends. If they consequently lapse, they'll probably feel guilty for the failure of their will power, when in fact they were just lonely, and if you'd given up the demon drink for charity, the thought that you had let your chosen charity down just for the sake of a pint wouldn't improve your self esteem. Do the Dry January zealots ever think of such things? I doubt it.
As others have pointed out, including my local recently (see previous post), hitting pubs during their worst month of the year could drive some to the wall, but I believe the anti-alcohol campaigners would regard pub closures, not as an unfortunate side effect, but as a success. Let's not fall into the trap they set. Cut down throughout the year if you want to, rather than abstain for the month, but if you see no option but to stop completely, let's not all do it in the same month.