The average Czech drinks 292 beers and 29 bottles of wine, and 14 bottles of other spirits per year, making them some of the drunkest people on earth.
Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, they’ve increased their alcohol consumption considerably. In an effort to dial that down a little, Suchej únor (Dry February) has created a campaign to help spread awareness on the consequences of alcohol abuse and promote the idea that it is, in fact, okay to be sober (at least for the shortest month of the year).
The Suchej únor website features lists of celebrities and other famous Czechs participating in alcohol abstinence this month, including legendary football goalie Petr Cech. It’s also selling books filled with information on the benefits of sobriety and some of the long term effects of alcohol on your life, plus personal stories and testimonials.
Aktualne.cz collaborated with Dry February on a special that covered some stories from a women’s alcohol rehabilitation center, provided some interesting statistics, and interviewed some experts on the subject.
According to the Ministry of Health, 83% of people feel fine with turning down alcohol when it’s offered to them, but the rest feel either embarrassed or uncomfortable, and some people just flat out never turn it down.
The effect of alcohol on relationships is also extensively documented; Psychologist Pavel Rataj, who does relationship counseling, said “I have never anyone who cured their partner’s alcohol addiction with love. It’s much more likely that you help an alcoholic with your anger, threats, or leaving altogether.”
“One or two glasses of booze together can help partners stop for a bit and connect with each other. But the more they drink, the more it leads to irritability and closing in on their own thoughts instead of actually listening to each other. Alcohol shouldn’t be a sedative for partners, or a cure for all their pain, anger, and disappointment.”