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Sober October encourages people to give up alcohol in October. It originally started in 2014 as a fundraising campaign for the UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support.4
The organization estimates that it helped 1.9 million people with in-depth, personal support and professional services in 2019.6
The Sober October fundraising campaign challenges social and heavy drinkers to change their habits for a month.
The goal is to help them make healthier lifestyle changes. In doing so, they can help provide physical, emotional, and financial support to the millions of people who live with cancer.4
After all, heavy alcohol use can have harmful long-term effects. It is even linked to some cancers.2
Since the launch of Sober October, Macmillan Cancer Support has raised nearly $45 million (over £33 million). The money mostly goes to nurses and support staff. It also goes to creating copies of cancer resources for newly diagnosed patients.4
However, Sober October has morphed into a challenge around the world. Not everyone who vows to stay sober for October does it for charity. Instead, Sober October trends on social media like Dry January.
Dry January started in 2013 through another UK-based charity, Alcohol Change UK. At the time, 4,000 people signed up.
By 2020, over 100,000 people signed up and four million took part in the challenge.9 In 2021, 6.5 million people participated in the biggest Dry January yet.9
The increase comes as no surprise. Doing a dry month is linked to greater wellbeing.8
To raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, you can take on the Sober October challenge for 14, 21, or 31 days.4 The Sober October steps are simple:
However, you do not need to participate in Sober October through the charity. While it’s a good thing to support the cause, you can always try a month of sobriety on your own.
Taking a break from alcohol can help you develop an awareness of your relationship with alcohol.
You can also rally your friends to give up drinking in October with you. Having a support system can help you stick to staying sober.
There are significant health benefits of an alcohol-free October. Alcohol is a significant cause of disability and death.7
Taking a month-long break from drinking can have a huge impact on your health and overall wellbeing. The Sober October challenge will help you develop healthy habits around drinking.
The first few days of Sober October may feel difficult for some. But the benefits are worth giving up those drinks.3
Giving up drinks at social events can also save you money. You may spend less when cutting back on alcohol intake. Additionally, the month of sobriety can help you and the question "Am I an alcoholic?" and stop drinking altogether.
It may not be easy to stick to sobriety for an entire month. The first week of Sober October is typically the most challenging.
Here are some helpful tips to stay on track:
Sobriety does not have to be boring. There is a ton to do instead of drinking alcohol.
Here are some alcohol-free options:
Sober October is for everyone.
But if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, do not go down the road to recovery alone. Seek professional help before it’s too late.
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