HOW does the prospect of a dry January grab you? No, not a month without rain. We mean dry as in alcohol-free.

There will be plenty of us with sore heads after New Year. But a whole month without a drop of booze? That may not be as difficult as it sounds.

Charity Alcohol Concern, whose idea Dry January is, claims hundreds of people across York and North Yorkshire will sign up to its campaign. So if you're worried about the amount you drink, this might be a good chance to do something about it. You won't be alone.

There are many people in York for whom drinking has become a problem, whether they admit it or not.

Alcohol Concern estimates one in five York people drink so much it risks damaging their health. Last year there were 37,112 alcohol-related hospital attendances in the city.

If you are drinking too much, it isn't only your own health you are risking. Anyone who has been into York city centre on a Friday or Saturday night will have seen the unpleasant scenes and incidents drunkenness can cause.

Binge drinking is also putting a strain on hospital A&E departments. In York, the hospital has a specialist team ready to help those with alcohol and drink problems. But nationally, a leading accident and emergency doctor recently called for police to arrest antisocial drunks so as to reduce the strain on overworked hospital emergency departments.

We agree there needs to be a change to the 'drinking too much is OK' attitude. You'd probably agree too if you got stuck in an A&E queue behind someone hurt in a drunken street brawl.

So if you do have a drinking problem, think seriously about Dry January – for your own sake, as well as everyone else's.