Community Alcohol Strategy Steering Committee urges residents to scale back alcohol consumption with Dry-ish January

The Prince Albert Community Alcohol Strategy Steering Committee is promoting Dry-January in hopes of getting residents to reduce their alcohol consumption. -- Darlene Alderson/

Members of the Prince Albert Community Alcohol Strategy Steering Committee are hoping some Prince Albert residents will scale back their alcohol consumption during the first month of 2024.

The organization has started promoting Dry-ish January with the aim of helping people re-think their drinking habits. Instead of giving up alcohol completely, Committee coordinator Karen Anthony-Burns said they’re hoping to convince people to reduce their alcohol intake one step at a time.

“There are so many groups who are doing this. We thought, ‘well, we’ll just promote the groups who are doing it,” she said. “They’re doing so much work, and they’re doing well.

“For some people (Dry January) is like, ‘oh man, that’s too much to consider,’” she added. “It’s dry-ish. Let’s look at ways that we can be mindful about our drinking.”

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) updated its guidelines on alcohol consumption in January 2023. In its report, the CCSA suggested a cap of two drinks per week for Canadians, well down from the previous cap of 15 drinks per week for men and 10 for women.

Anthony-Burns said they’re hoping Dry-ish January can help people get their alcohol consumption in line with those new guidelines. For the next month, residents are encouraged to follow various weekly suggestions like no drinking after a certain time, or having a certain number of dry days per week.

“They (the CCSE) tell everyone it’s time to pick a new target, right, and so this is an easy way for people to do that,” she said.

Anthony-Burns said they started to promote Dry-ish January after seeing other organizations post about it on Facebook.

In addition to supporting Dry-ish January, the Steering Committee is still promoting its Christmas Cab Coupon campaign. Residents can get a $15 coupon for cab fair that can be used any day between 6 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Anthony-Burns said there are still a surprising number of holiday gatherings in January because not every organization, or business can get everyone together for a Christmas Party in December. She’s hopeful people taking part in those festivities will use the coupon program to get a safe ride home.

“You can’t make that decision after you’ve already been out drinking,” Anthony-Burns said. “You need to have a plan before you already go and say, ‘this is how much money I’m earmarking to get home.’ It’s really important to make those decisions before you have the drinks.”