February 9, 2024

The Sober Buddy Challenge, a month without alcohol for better health

To usher in the New Year with enthusiasm and health, let’s kick off February with the Sober Buddy Challenge. This challenge, which involves abstaining from alcohol for a whole month, was created in 2021 by the “Fondation Cancer Luxembourg”. It fits in perfectly with Foyer’s insurer DNA and the “Foyer against cancer” programme, a series of actions and initiatives linked to cancer prevention launched in 2022.

Sober Buddy Challenge?

This challenge involves avoiding alcohol consumption for the whole of February. Coming just after the festive season, the challenge is particularly beneficial for all those taking part.

The Sober Buddy is not just a challenge, it’s an opportunity to start the year with good resolutions and to discover for yourself and with buddies (partner, friends, family…) the benefits of not drinking alcohol on your body.

The allure of alcohol may seem seductive, even delightful, but we mustn’t forget that its consumption is harmful to health in the long term. The Sober Buddy Challenge is not designed to force or encourage people to give up alcohol for good, but rather to inform and raise awareness of the risks to which they may be exposed.

This challenge is aimed at anyone looking for a change, anyone curious about whether they could go without alcohol for a month, or anyone thinking “Why not?” There’s no risk in trying a different approach to the habits one is used to. On the contrary, it may enable some people to change their drinking habits and, for the most determined, to give up for good.

The Fondation Cancer’s advice is to regard the Sober Buddy Challenge as a personal experience in which each person is free to go beyond his or her own limits. There is no competition, except that which each person imposes on themselves and those around them.

Taking part in this challenge can be an opportunity to rediscover oneself in a new light. It’s an opportunity to explore a life without alcohol, offering a space for personal growth and awareness.

Alone, in a group or with friends, let’s take up the challenge!

The links between alcohol and health

It is interesting to note that, according to the WHO, there is no threshold below which alcohol consumption is considered safe. All forms of alcoholic beverage are associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, a risk that increases with the quantity of alcohol ingested.

Alcohol is responsible for several types of cancer, including (figures for Europe):

  • 34% of breast cancers
  • 28% of colon and rectal cancers
  • 21% of cancers of the mouth and pharynx
  • 7% of oesophageal cancers
  • 6% of laryngeal cancers
  • 4% of liver cancers

Every year, some 244,000 cancers could be avoided by stopping drinking alcohol.

Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and aortic aneurysm. The higher the level of consumption, the greater the risk. It is therefore advisable to reduce alcohol consumption, or even abstain altogether.

What are the benefits of the Sober Buddy Challenge?

After the Sober Buddy Challenge, many participants have seen a marked improvement in various aspects of their well-being. These benefits include:

Mental and health benefits:

  • Improved quality of sleep, promoting deeper, more restorative rest.
  • An increase in bodily energy, often leading to better concentration and a sharper memory. This translates into greater productivity and clarity of mind, whether in everyday life, at school or at work.
  • Reducing the inflammation caused by alcohol helps to keep skin better hydrated.
  • It has also been found that abstinence from alcohol can contribute to weight loss or the maintenance of a weight considered to be healthier.
  • What’s more, abstaining from alcohol strengthens the immune system, making it more resistant than before.

Economic and social benefits:

  • As well as the physical and mental aspects, this approach saves money and strengthens social relationships by encouraging more authentic interactions, free from the influence of alcohol.

All these positive effects improve your overall quality of life and help you to perform better and feel better about yourself.

Find out more about the Sober Buddy Challenge and prevention on the Fondation Cancer Luxembourg website.

Don’t wait any longer, take care of your health.

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