In the U.K., some Brits celebrate the new year by abstaining from alcohol for the entire month of January. Starting in 2012, the British organization Alcohol Concern sponsored the first Dry January, a challenge to stop drinking alcohol during the month of January. According to the organization, over two million people participated in Dry January in 2015. The campaign has a wealth of benefits for those with moderate or above average drinking habits, but anyone who is dependent on alcohol should not attempt to quit cold turkey, and should instead seek the help of an addiction recovery facility.
The purported benefits of Dry January include improved sleep, weight loss, lowered cholesterol, a reduced risk of diabetes, greater focus and production at work, and a healthier, less fatty liver. One study that followed 857 participants and their drinking habits found that people who quit drinking for a month tended to drink less overall up to six months later, which suggests that Dry January could have far-reaching effects throughout the rest of the year. Above all, the project aims to realign a person’s relationship with alcohol. Many are surprised to realize that they drink more, or are more dependent on alcohol, than they first thought. A month of sobriety can go a long way in helping people understand their complex and nuanced relationship with alcohol, and may begin a wider national conversation about alcohol, social drinking, addiction, and drug rehab.
However, not all are convinced that Dry January is positive in the long run. Such a campaign can create toxic all or nothing thinking, which could lead to a binge-filled February or a get out of jail free card for drinking heavily the rest of the year. Some experts say that, rather than advocating for 31 days of absolutely no drinking, a better option would be moderation, with people choosing not to drink a few days each week. Drinking moderately throughout the year (or ideally, a lifetime) would produce greater benefits than a month without any alcohol, but many see Dry January as the first stepping stone toward changing drinking behaviors to become more healthy.
And of course, Dry January is not an option for someone addicted to alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol can be lethal, and should only be untaken in a safe and supervised addiction treatment center. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include tremors or the shakes, anxiety, headaches, nausea, hallucinations, and seizures. Always contact a professional before attempting to withdraw from alcohol.
If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol or other drugs, please call or email our caring representatives right away, and we’ll help you find a luxury drug rehab program that’s right for your needs. Our professional and compassionate staff are capable of providing safe, supervised detoxification, and will strive to ensure that each client is as comfortable as possible during the process. Please contact us today to start laying the foundation for lifelong sobriety and freedom from addiction.