Your Dry July pep talk

“You know that alcohol is a carcinogen, right?”

That was the line that struck home for me last year when ABC funny man Shaun Micallef was promoting his teetotalling doco On The Sauce. Or at least words to that effect. I don’t trust my memory one bit.

It’s taken me a good year to process this information. I still haven’t watched the documentary. At the time my reaction was, ‘Don’t take this from me!

Nevertheless, I have cut down on the booze and I’m here to give you the reminder that even if you don’t want to go dry for July, it might be worth reaching for a tea rather than that extra drink that you don’t need.

What’s the latest science on alcohol?

We all know the common risks of alcohol consumption. What’s changed is recent evidence on low to moderate drinking. So, here’s the bad news.

According to the latest Australian Guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council: “the evidence shows that there is no level of alcohol consumption that is completely safe.”

Any alcohol drinking increases cancer risk unfortunately. That’s bad news for people like me.

In the words of the guidelines: “In recent years, clearer evidence has emerged about the harms of alcohol, including new evidence on increased risks of cancer that occur even at low levels of regular consumption.”

Many of us heard that alcohol may have benefits for our heart health. More bad news:

“Doubt about the evidence underpinning protective effects [of drinking for coronary heart disease] has increased over the past decade…”

Yeah, not great news overall. The slogan from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation captures the takeaway message: ‘Every alcoholic drink increases your risk of cancer’.

What’s Dry July?

Dry July raises money ‘To create a better life for people affected by cancer’. Dry July supports charities like the Leukaemia Foundation, the Cancer Council, Redkite (supporting young people with cancer) and many others. Therefore, if you were thinking Dry July only raises money for alcohol-related cancers you’d be way off the mark.

Interested in learning more? Add to the $60 million raised to date by making a tax-deductible donation or sign up to Dry July to make a real impact.

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