Cheers to Starting the New Year Focused on Sobriety
While there are a few different versions of how “Dry January” started, most agree that it was initiated in the United Kingdom around 2012. The first official Dry January was in 2013. The rules are pretty simple, to participate in Dry January you give up alcohol from New Year’s Day until February 1. The goal is to set a standard. By eliminating alcohol consumption for a month, you can help to re-program your body and change your relationship with alcohol.
According to research conducted by a behavior change expert at the University of Sussex, six months after Dry January began seven out of ten people continued to drink “less riskily” before. Additionally, the study showed that “(a)lmost a quarter of the people who were drinking at “harmful” levels before the campaign are now in the low risk category.”
Dry January has become popular in the United States over the past few years. As reported by Today, choosing to stay away from alcohol for 30 days has numerous health benefits including better sleep, weight loss and less anxiety. Long term benefits of sobriety include decreasing the risk of cancer, brain and heart disease, and boosting insulin resistance.
While overall, Dry January is beneficial – it is important to note that heavy drinkers may risk significant withdrawal symptoms from attempting to quit cold turkey. It is always recommended that if you have Alcohol Use Disorder or a dependence on alcohol you seek medical treatment to assist with your sobriety. The important thing is to choose your health and well-being. If you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and are ready to make a change, there are options for treatment. Sobriety has many health benefits across the board. Now is the time to make a change.