October is a month before people indulge in everyday sundowners and weekdays are transformed into Friday every day.
The October campaign makes a plea to South Africans to quit drinking for a month as part of a campaign to raise awareness about alcohol abuse.
The idea behind the Ocsober campaign is simple, stay sober in October.
As more people become health-conscious, it’s become increasingly popular to opt for non-alcoholic drinks, whether it’s beer, gin or bubbly.
And the choice could be because of the health benefits, or people wanting to keep up with drink trends.
A study by Gautam Mehta of University College London, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) earlier this year investigated the health gains from a month without alcohol.
The lead author, Mehta observed moderate to heavy drinkers, all consuming more than the recommended daily allowance.
“The average intake was around 28 units (a week),” says Mehta, “but these were professional working people without any history of alcohol-related health problems.”
After their month of sobriety, their insulin resistance - a marker for diabetes - improved by about 25%.
Blood pressure went down by “what you’d tend to expect if you take drugs to treat high blood pressure”, he says.
The subjects also lost a little weight, just under 2kg on average.
Blood tests for liver function and inflammation all showed small but significant improvements at the end of the month, but this doesn’t imply that a damaged liver will fully recover in this time.
“I don’t think we can say there’s a big improvement in the degree of liver disease,” says Mehta.
Also, experts agree that a month of being sober helps many people resist alcohol.
A study in 2015 from Sussex University enlisted more than 800 participants in Dry January, and found that afterwards their ability to confidently say no to alcoholic drinks improved.
Their consumption of alcohol went down, whether they had succeeded in quitting for the entire month or not.
So, if you are looking to stay committed in Ocsober you don’t need to rely on sugary fizzy drinks while others have boozy cocktails. There are many fruity and fizzy non-alcoholic cocktails out there for you to sip on.