DDN February 2021

Every small change can signal success

The Dry January campaign reports significant success this year, striking a loud chord in lockdown (p8). A characteristic of this success is its immediacy – website, Facebook page, app – as well as the capacity for global reach, and its direction as a healthy lifestyle initiative rather than a competition with an expiry date chimes with everyone’s interest in cultivating a stronger immune system.

What’s made it feel accessible to many is the celebration of behaviour change, however gradual; the fact that a totally ‘dry’ month is not the only indicator of success. The question in Mike Ashton’s piece (p6) is can we ever contemplate gradual change – ‘controlled drinking’ – for dependent drinkers?

For most of us, digital service options (and there are good ideas from Forward, p19) have given us innovative ways of reaching clients during and beyond COVID. But an equally important part of the narrative must include those who do not naturally live online. A survey of older adults receiving alcohol treatment found that many were struggling with the move to online or phone-based models (news, p5). The Drink Wise, Age Well programme (p16) also highlighted that loneliness and depression can loom large for those whose only buzz comes from reaching for the bottle.


Claire Brown, editor

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