Midlands alcohol charity Aquarius has launched the Challenge 31campaign for a dry January.

Encouraging people across the country to cut out or cut down on alcohol across the 31 days of January, Aquarius is hoping the challenge will raise awareness of people’s drinking levels following Christmas, during which the public can drink more than 40%* more than the monthly average.

Challenge 31 encourages people to either cut out drinking completely, or reduce alcohol consumption as much as possible. The key focus, Aquarius argues, is being aware of how much alcohol is being consumed, the consequences and the harms.

Annette Fleming, Chief Executive, said: "We are urging the public and key community figures to take part in Challenge 31 – and to encourage others to do so too.

"If you haven’t started yet, you can still take part; by pledging to family members or friends, by sending in photos of your pledge, or by getting in touch with Aquarius for a Challenge 31 Information and Support pack.

"This will be the first weekend for a dry January, so use it well. If you are cutting out or down on your alcohol, then try activities that will keep you occupied so you don’t turn to alcohol. Find out how nice it will be to not have a hangover!"

She continued: "There are vast amounts of health, personal and professional benefits for cutting out or cutting down on alcohol. The average wine drinker would save around 2,000 calories per month and the average beer drinker would save over 3,500 calories per month.

From reducing your risks of cancer and liver disease, to helping keep your professional and personal reputation intact, going alcohol-free is a fantastic way to kick off 2013!"

For more information, please go to www.aquarius.org.uk/challenge31