ACCORDING to figures from the Centre for Retail Research, 600 million units of alcohol are expected to be consumed by Britons in December alone. With a predicted spend on alcohol likely to be around £2.4 billion.

However, looking to drastically drop these statistics is drug and alcohol awareness charity Lifeline. Lifeline has been dedicated to supporting those in drug and alcohol rehabilitation for 44 years.

Their current campaign is called ‘Dry Mix December’ which aims to inspire those who plan to drink large amounts of booze over December to alternate their alcohol with soft drinks or water.

An ambassador on behalf of Lifeline’s campaign, Dave Smith, is a former drug and alcohol addict. After spending time in prison, Dave joined as a Lifeline volunteer whilst he was recovering as part of their SMART program.

Six years later he joined Lifeline as a paid employee and is now dedicated to helping others binge drink less around the December period.

Dave and probation worker Amy Newton
Dave and probation worker Amy Newton

“My habits stated out with me drinking a good five pints with my granddad per day, before it gradually became an urge and a need to drink and take drugs on a more frequent basis.”

“My dad eventually kicked me out on the streets for my habits, so I ended up homeless for a really long time. One day, my dad found me outside Debenhams and he told me, go hand yourself into the police.”

“Where I was in prison, I realised how much of a luxurious change the lifestyle was in there and I thought this is the kind of lifestyle I want on the outside, bed, nice clothes and three meals a day.”

“I starred volunteering with Lifeline’s SMART program, then 5 months later they invited me in for an interview to do paid work with Lifeline and I got the job just like that.”

“I want to inspire and help people now, and Lifeline’s dry mix December is really hitting the nail on the head with combating binge-drinking during one of the most dominant drinking times of year”

So far, the campaign has already drummed up support from alcohol-serving establishments as well as political representatives and local businesses.

One local business ambassador, Stuart Elkington, works on behalf of alcohol-free brand ‘Dry Drinker’. He fully supports Lifeline’s message, but is passionate that people are still given the opportunity to drink beers and ciders without missing out.

“At Dry Drinker, we think it’s imperative that people still give alcohol-free beers and ciders a chance.”

“Once people get over the barrier of thinking a non-alcoholic beer doesn’t have any flavour, they try our products and realise how similar the tastes actually are.”

“We want to provide an alternative for people that still gives them that familiar taste, but with zero alcohol content. Lifeline’s message is so vital this December, you don’t need alcohol to have a good time at Christmas.”

Find out more about Lifeline’s campaign on their Twitter page here.

By Lucy Newman
@LA_Newman95

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