How to give up alcohol for Dry July

Cancer Council NSW
Australians will be giving up alcohol for Dry July.

In a few days, thousands of Aussies will be giving up the booze for Dry July to raise money for people affected by cancer.

If you’re going alcohol-free, check out our tips to help you get through the month and still have fun.

1. Don’t have alcohol at home

If you drink at home, consider removing alcohol to lessen the temptation.

Either hide them somewhere that’s hard to get to or ask a friend to keep or store them for you during July.

2. Embrace non-alcohol drinks

You don’t have to drink plain water for a month. There are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives that you can enjoy. Here are some healthy options:

  • sparkling water
  • water flavoured with slices of lemon, cucumber, strawberries or mint
  • smoothies
  • herbal tea with no added sugar.
  • frappes made with ice and blended frozen fruit
  • mocktails.

Download our easy mocktail recipes that you can try at home.

3. Change how you socialise with friends

If you typically catch up with friends over drinks, swap the pub or the bar for something different.

You could do a coffee catch up at the local café or do an activity like playing sports or going for a bushwalk.

4. Prepare for situations where alcohol is on offer

You may find yourself in social gatherings that involve alcohol. There’s no need to decline these invitations.

Decide beforehand what you’ll do when the time comes. It could be sticking to non-alcoholic options or simply saying no to drinks.

5. Get support from friends

You’ve probably told your friends and family that you’re doing Dry July to ask them for donations. Don’t stop there. Ask them to support you in your month of sobriety.

It’s a lot easier to get through the month when you have a network of people who can encourage you when things get tough.

6. Change your habits

Since it’s winter, you may be spending more time at home. If you typically relax with alcohol, try other activities:

  • have an early night
  • take a bath
  • play board games
  • read a book
  • watch TV
  • call a friend or relative.

During your alcohol-free month, you may have more free time. Fill it with fun activities like going on an outdoor adventure or picking up a new hobby.


You may find avoiding alcohol challenging, but don’t give up. Remember that staying dry for a month is raising vital funds for people affected by cancer.

It also has many health benefits, such as improving your mood and health and increasing your energy levels. You’ll also save a lot of money.

Registrations are still open for Dry July, so it’s not too late to sign up and join the challenge.

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