Are You Aware of Dry January?
Dry January is a concept that was created by a British organization known as Alcohol Concern. The idea is for people to abstain from drinking for the entire month of January. The timing is curious, seeing as January is that one month of the year when people undertake notable changes in their lifestyles.
While most people typically focus on injecting better diets and exercise regiments into their lives, Alcohol Concern believes that it might be time for the wider adult population of the world to seriously cut down on alcohol consumption. Of course, for people for whom alcohol is a necessity for one reason or another, Dry January might not sound like the most attractive idea. More importantly, a lot of people might be wondering how a month of no drinking could possibly elicit any notable consequences for one's health.
However, January 2017 won't be the first time that Alcohol Concern is pushing the idea of Dry January. The organization has been promoting the concept for quite a while, and many of those individuals who have participated in it have reported experiencing better sleep, weight loss and an increase in the amount of energy. But there is more to Dry January than merely eliciting short-term gains to one’s health.
The purpose of Dry January
The reason Dry January seems to be receiving so much support this time is simple: there is a substantial push to reduce the levels of alcohol consumption in the United States and Europe. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), America has a serious problem with alcohol. By 2014, up to one-quarter of all adults in the United States were actively engaged in binge drinking, and this includes both men and women. The numbers have grown even more since then, so Dry January aims to bring these numbers down.
Abstaining from alcohol for 31 days has been proven to also encourage a reduction in alcohol intake in the long term. Previous attempts at Dry January have shown as much. Looking at studies in the Health Psychology Journal, many of the people who have participated in Dry January in previous years have reported a decrease in their overall consumption of alcohol in the months that followed.
Alcohol is a serious problem that can have wide ranging consequences on the heart, the brain, the pancreas and the liver. Some reports have even created an association between alcohol consumption and certain cancers.
No one at the NIAAA or Alcohol Concern is suggesting that breaking the habit of drinking alcohol is an easy goal to accomplish. However, Dry January is a decent first step for anyone who is determined to overcome their weakness in this area.