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West Midlands to run 'alcohol free experiment’ for officers

The force are encouraging officers across UK policing to take part in an informed break from drinking.

West Midlands are running the alcohol experiment throughout January and have extended the support materials to everyone in UK policing.

‘The alcohol experiment’ is a 30 day alcohol-free challenge developed by author Annie Grace. The force has secured 30 days free access to the ‘This Naked Mind Companion’ app which will enable officers and staff to sign up to the experiment.

Through the app, participants will be provided with information, videos, tips and advice.

Topics include; How alcohol affects your senses, why we think we like to drink, and alcohol effects on your health, social life and dating.

If participants choose not to use the app, they can receive the daily topics via email instead.

In addition to the experiment itself, West Midlands will be developing a community and coaching approach via a closed Facebook group.

Coaches will develop and investigate the topics in a daily live session – giving participants the chance to ask questions and reach out to others. Live sessions will be held at 5pm on the weekend and 7pm on weekdays – with recordings posted later on the Facebook page. Coaches are engaging voluntarily.

At the end of the experiment, participants will be asked to complete an anonymous survey.

West Midlands DCI John Askew said: “Towards the end of 2020 I began to look at how much I was drinking.  I wouldn’t have considered myself to have an alcohol problem, but I was drinking every night, particularly as life had changed through COVID meaning there were less reasons not to drink (as in driving or running around after the kids at some form of club).  My alcohol intake gradually increased, only ever lager, but enough to make a significant difference to my health, wealth and mental wellbeing.

“I considered doing dry January in 2021, but then chickened out and thoughts I’d try a dry February (three less days right!). 

“When the 1 Feb arrived, I downloaded a lot of apps to my phone to help me out.  The Dry January App (Try Dry) gave me a risk score about my drinking, but then every day you din’t drink it showed you the calories and money you’d saved.  EasyQuitDrinking gave me a day by day assessment of how my health was improving, and the Alcohol Experiment gave me an insight to why I drank in the first place, and coping mechanisms to prevent relapsing during the first 30 days.

“As I come up to two years without alcohol, I’ve saved nearly £2500 though not buying beer 

“I feel so much better as a result, and I am certain my home and work life have benefitted from my decision.”

You can access sign up links here.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up on December 30 or December 31 in order to receive the whole package in January.

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