Is Dry January Really Healthy?
Many people who drink to excess wonder if they should take a break every once in a while. Dry January has become a trend across social media, and many people tout the health benefits of going alcohol-free for a short time.
For Dry January, millions of people decide to quit drinking for the entire month of January. People have many reasons they may choose to participate; mostly, though, they do it because of concern about their health or lifestyle.
According to recent research, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a considerable uptick in alcohol and other substance use. As a result, people drank too much, with 31% of regular drinkers admitting to drinking up to 12 days in the past month. In addition, those drinkers were highly likely to binge drink. It's no wonder many people hope to "reset" their drinking patterns or give it up entirely.
Quitting alcohol is always a good decision for your physical and mental health. But if you start drinking again, it's likely you'll reverse the benefits.
Why Do People Participate in Dry January?
Quitting drinking has psychological benefits as well as health benefits. Many people want to slow down their drinking for their physical and mental health. Some of the benefits, such as better sleep and clearer skin, occur right away. Stomach problems clear up after a couple of weeks. People feel better about themselves, get to work on time more often, and find that they have extra time in their day for other pursuits when they are not using alcohol.
At the end of January, though, many people go right back to drinking and their unhealthy lifestyle. Some people stay sober or drink less as a result of their experience. However, for many, alcohol use disorder prevents them from getting and staying sober, even when they realize they want to. All of the weight loss, clear skin, and overall healthier lifestyle dry up into thin air when they start drinking again. It’s not possible to be addicted to alcohol and live a healthy life.
Many People “Fail” Dry January
Many people try to get sober for January but fail. Some of them probably never intended to get sober in the first place. After all, Dry January is very similar to a New Year’s Resolution. There’s also the fact that as soon as you finish your 31 days sober, the plan is to go back to drinking in most cases.
The “break” from drinking doesn’t stop a person from having an alcohol use disorder. Instead, it reinforces the dangerous idea that you can go back to drinking safely. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible for many people to do so. Your addiction and the physical damage it does to the body don't "reset" in 30 days.
If you try to get sober for Dry January and fail, it’s not your fault. Alcohol use disorder is a disease. Your body’s dependence on alcohol can cause withdrawal symptoms that range from mild headaches or nausea to dangerous symptoms like seizures or fever. This is why it can be so challenging to get sober in the first place.
You Can Get Sober And Start Recovering
If you or somebody you love lives with alcohol use disorder, you’re not alone. So many people from all walks of life were once in your shoes and now live a life free from addiction.
It can be frightening to admit that you’ve lost control of your drinking. But we’re here to help! We know what it’s like, and we’re here to help you navigate your first steps to a new way of life.
Please reach out at 619-363-4767 to learn more about our programs. All calls are confidential.