Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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News Release

Lose the Booze in January

Dec 02, 2016
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – How many people vow to swear off alcohol as a New Year’s resolution?

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – How many people vow to swear off alcohol as a New Year’s resolution?

In Simcoe Muskoka there could be even more this year as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is issuing the Ready To Be Thirsty Challenge.

The challenge calls on local residents to cut out or cut down drinking alcohol through the month of January and encourage their friends to do the same.

It’s the third year the challenge has been issued with hundreds of residents drawn to the light-hearted format where participants share their experiences on Facebook or with friends and family, and encourage others as they face temptations.

Whether they make it through the month alcohol free, or have a sip or two along the way, all comments on Facebook are welcome.

Ready To Be Thirsty is intended to raise awareness about the benefits of reducing alcohol intake, or of abstaining altogether. It will give participants an understanding of the social pressures that push people to drink, and sometimes drink more than they plan.

“Society is in a place right now that encourages alcohol consumption,” says public health nurse Kim Derdall. “Brewers and distillers cover the market in advertising that implies the best times are had where there’s booze. Government is relaxing its rules about where alcohol can be purchased. It’s very hard to get a message of moderation out.”

In Simcoe and Muskoka, Derdall said, 83 per cent of adults are current alcohol drinkers, and more than a quarter of adults are drinking at a rate that puts their health at increased risk. Since 2012, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has promoted its national Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, to keep alcohol use at a level that reduces negative impacts on health.

Beyond the sense of accomplishment of staying off alcohol for the month, Derdall says people are likely to notice they sleep better, have more energy—and are saving money.

With more than a month before the start date, there’s plenty of time to plan to participate.

To join, just “like” the Ready To Be Thirsty page on Facebook ( and share it with others.

People can also post to Twitter, using the hashtag #R2BT, or adding @SMhowmanydrinks to messages.

For more information, visit, or Or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



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