Alarming New Stats on Drinking Habits Show Why Going Alcohol-Free is in Style

Looking to make 2019 your healthiest year yet? Whether your New Year’s resolution is to focus on your health or you seek a dry January to balance overindulgences during the holidays, you’re not alone.


A new survey characterizing Canadians’ drinking habits underlines the harms of alcohol, as one in seven Canadian drinkers meets the Center for Disease Control’s definition of ‘excessive drinker.’ The results were compiled from a December 2018 survey of more than 1,475 randomly selected Canadians of legal drinking age.

The survey also found 41% of Canadians have abstained or have considered abstaining from alcohol. As Canadians gain awareness of alcohol’s harms, including health risks, weight gain, and substantial societal costs, more consumers are choosing to go alcohol-free.

The top five reasons respondents said they would consider abstaining from alcohol are:

  • Health reasons (31%);
  • To assist in weight loss (18%);
  • To save money (14%);
  • To detox or cleanse their system (11%); and
  • They “don’t like alcohol” (9%).


Going alcohol-free has never been so fun, social, and altruistic
To encourage more Canadians to begin 2019 alcohol-free, we launched the Hill Street Challenge to go without alcohol for 30 days beginning January 2.

Beyond giving your body and brain a vacation from alcohol, this purpose-driven challenge helps to raise money for charity. Deciding to abstain from alcohol from January 2 to 31 and state your intentions on social media using the hashtag #HillStreetChallenge can help one of Hill Street’s fantastic charity partners win a $10,000 donation. Announcing your plans on social media also help to keep you focused by boosting accountability.

To support the Arthritis Society of Canada, simply include the hashtag #DryForArthritis in your posts; to support Prostate Cancer Canada, use the hashtag #PCC. The organization with the most points – as measured by the use of each charity’s unique hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram until January 31 – will earn the big prize.

Benefits of deciding to lose the booze
Choosing to forego alcohol can help people to decrease their health risks, boost their energy, and avoid hangovers and potentially regretful decisions. According to a study of last year’s Dry January participants in the UK, researchers found the immediate benefits of giving up alcohol, such as seven in ten people reported sleeping better. Also, 67% percent of participants had more energy, 58% lost weight, and 54% had better skin. Notably, 4 out of 5 people felt they had more control over their drinking.

An unexpected benefit is a sense of belonging, as the community of people deciding to go alcohol-free continues to grow. This year, Canadian media personalities – including Zoomer Breakfast Radio’s Happy Gang (Neil Hedley, Sam Houston, and Jane Brown) – are among the Canadians taking the Hill Street Challenge and discussing their progress throughout January. As a result, Hill Street Challenge participants will be part of an active, supportive group of likeminded people who can encourage one another to persevere throughout January without alcohol.

Tasty alcohol-free drinks make it easier to go alcohol-free

Record Hill Street sales through 2018 confirm a global trend: the popularity of non-alcohol wines and beers is increasing worldwide. In November, Hill Street announced it had sold 1 million bottles of alcohol-free wine since the company’s founding in 2008. Hill Street’s award-winning assortment of delicious alcohol-free beer and wine offer consumers a wide variety of quality alcohol-free beverages to make this month easier and more pleasant.

More consumers around the world are going alcohol-free, driven by a genuine desire to feel good both physically and ethically. This Hill Street research paper, released in December 2018, outlines the diverse negative health and societal impacts of alcohol, which have influenced many consumers to rethink what they drink.

This month, stick a cork in your booze and join the movement toward well-being. Take the Hill Street Challenge to start the new year right with a healthy goal to go alcohol-free. Learn more about the Hill Street Challenge – and cheers to a better you!