Febfast is an annual health and charity event that encourages thousands of people to take a 28-day break from alcohol, sugar, junk food, smoking or social media after the December/January holiday season, while raising money to support young people experiencing alcohol and other drug related problems. This article focuses on participants choosing not to drink alcohol in February.

You will be supporting thousands of young people across New Zealand faced with serious disadvantage. From overcoming mental health issues and the impact of abuse and neglect, to finding safe housing and tackling drug and alcohol problems, febfast dollars have changed the lives of our youth.

Participants register for the event as individuals or in teams and will receive support via apps, eMagazines, blogs, email, SMS and more. If you cannot complete all 28 days, a Time Out Certificate can be purchased allowing you to drink at a wedding, birthday, graduation or other celebration on a nominated date.

Why you should start considering febfast this year

Febfast is a community of thousands who are committed to a ‘dry’ February, to feel healthier and raise vital funds for young people facing disadvantage.

With beautiful sunny days, February weddings and other celebrations, febfast may feel like a big challenge. We make it easier through weekly emails with exclusive drink recipes, febfast friendly venue details, activity ideas for non-hungover mornings and more. There will be exclusive discounts and offers from our fabulous partners, with access to competitions and give-aways to keep you rewarded. You will see more ideas and updates through social media, including details of the difference you are making to the young people you are raising money for.

Febfast – how to prep for an alcohol-free month

A one-month alcohol detox can be challenging, but preparation is the key. Here are some tips to make the month easier for you:

  1. Consider what you would enjoy drinking in place of alcohol. Soda water and lime adds a bit of fizz, or if you don’t want bubbles, add a slice of lemon into your mineral water. There are also a vast range of low-sugar drinks to choose from.
  2. Consider the benefits of not drinking for a month. Most participants will save money from not buying alcohol. Think about something that you would like to spend the money on. A night at the theatre, an art class, new sports bag. An end goal makes this challenge easier.
  3. There are many health benefits from not drinking alcohol and your efforts will raise money to help disadvantaged youth.

How febfast will improve your health and well-being

Better body

 

Going booze-free for just one month will do wonders for your body. Research has shown that people who gave up alcohol for four weeks saw improvements in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels resulting in better liver function and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Another advantage is that you are likely to lose weight.

Better sleep

Whilst alcohol helps you get to sleep, the quality of sleep is reduced since alcohol decreases the amount of REM sleep, important for consolidating memories and learning from the previous day.

Create a healthier habit

Research has confirmed that those who drink less alcohol for a month got drunk less in the six months that followed.

You’ll be a happier human

With thousands of applicants in previous febfasts, it is reported that 62 percent lost weight during the month from giving up either sugar or alcohol and 81 percent saved money to invest in things they want, like a holiday.

Febfast aim of evaluation

The aims of the evaluation are to understand the following five points:

  1. who took part in febfast and their reasons for participation
  2. the experience of participating in febfast
  3. the impact that taking part in febfast has on participants’ alcohol awareness, health, and subsequent drinking behaviours
  4. awareness of febfast and barriers to participation.

The success of earlier febfast events in raising awareness and reducing harmful consumption of alcohol is that the event attracts those who are heavy drinkers. It is anticipated the results of this evaluation could be used to enhance the promotion and delivery of the program in future years, with the aim of increasing febfast participation rates.

People with alcohol problems

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance. Approximately one in every 10 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.

More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can affect all aspects of a person’s life. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications, can damage emotional stability, finances, career, and impact one’s family, friends and community.

Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how long one has been drinking, or even exactly how much alcohol one consumes. But it has a great deal to do with a person's uncontrollable need for alcohol. Most alcoholics cannot just "use a little willpower" to stop drinking alcohol. The alcoholic is frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water. While some people are able to recover without help, the majority of alcoholics need outside assistance to recover from their disease. Yet, with support and treatment, many are able to stop drinking and reclaim their lives.

Millions of people worldwide have recovered from the disease of alcoholism through free twelve step recovery programmes. There is also free, mutual support for the friends and families of those who are alcoholics through the self-supporting organisation Al-Anon. Groups meet regularly in face-to-face meetings, online through video or audio conferencing including Skype and Web-ex. There are also many forums and social media groups.


FebFast - it’s good for you, and it’s great for the people the funds raised will support.

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