What The US Could Learn From the UK’s Growing Alcohol Free Lifestyle
The drinking habits of adults in Great Britain is declining as more and more are adopting an alcohol free lifestyle. In fact, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics the proportion of adults who said they drink alcohol is at its lowest level since 2005. 1 in 5 adults in the UK have quit drinking alcohol (or as the British would say, are teetotal).
Following are a few ways the U.K is making significant progress in promoting an alcohol free lifestyle. Perhaps it’s time for the U.S. to adopt a few of these ideas as well.
1. Promotions like Dry January and Beyond where people are giving up alcohol for a month. The initiative has a free app that helps participants track the benefits of giving up alcohol which include savings, weight loss, and better sleep. The free app comes with additional encouragement, support, and articles for as long as you need it.
2. Low- and no-alcohol is a fast growing lifestyle choice in the UK in part due to the increasing options created by high-profile launches in the zero-alcohol market. As people search for healthier options brands are taking notice and meeting the demand.
3. There is an increasing sense of awareness. A growing ethnic and religious diversity is making the nation more aware that not everyone participates in alcohol consumption. Reasons vary, and those reasons are respected. Non-drinkers are treated with respect and not questioned as to why they aren’t participating. Instead they have been greeted with more low- or non-alcoholic choices. When establishments offer more alcohol free options non-drinkers come back!
4. Companies are actively working to help consumers decrease or eliminate their alcohol intake. Take a quick look over at Club Soda and you’ll find a Mindful Drinking Movement that is inclusive and supportive of non-drinkers as well as those who want to limit or quit alcohol for good. In addition to helping you meet your drinking goals they provide a guide for the best places to go who will support you in your choices.
5. There are growing opportunities to build community for those who are beginning and continuing the decision to stop drinking. Club Soda and the Dry January and Beyond app are just two of the many. Online communities like One Year No Beer also offer continued support and a growing community, letting those looking to make a change know they are not doing it alone. These communities educate and empower those looking for a change.
Quitting alcohol does not mean giving up cocktails. While we wait for American brands to catch up to the fast growing alcohol free life of the UK there is always the option to make our own soft cocktails, besides homemade is simply better. For a few of my favorite recipes go here.
It can be difficult to stop drinking. One of the great things about how the UK is addressing this growing lifestyle is that they are offering community to those giving up alcohol. Surviving sobriety can be difficult in the early stages especially if it is how you socialized. Finding a community or discovering the community you are in is supportive goes a long way to meeting your goals.
There are a lot of benefits to giving up alcohol, some of which can be found here. Being surrounded by a culture that values your choices rather than questions them can only make your community stronger. It’s worth striving for America.
I’d love to hear how your community has supported you in a low- to no- alcohol lifestyle. What are some of the things you would like to see change in the US regarding alcohol consumption and support for non-drinkers?