The concept of Dry January was made popular by a British non-profit organization in 2013
The concept of Dry January was made popular by a British non-profit organization in 2013

Sail through an alcohol-free 'Dry January' like a champ with these tips and tricks

ANI | Updated: Dec 25, 2019 14:07 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 25 (ANI): It's that time of the year when the floodgates of booze are let loose as people merry and rejoice over the holidays. The coming January will probably be the damage control phase for a lot of folks after nearly a month of getting sloshed.
The concept of Dry January was made popular by a British non-profit organization in 2013, after which it gained the endorsement of the British government and was turned into a public health campaign in the year that followed.
A study carried out by the University of Sussex in 2018 found that giving up alcohol just for a month, not only led to improvements in the health of those who adhered to Dry January but also helped them establish healthy drinking habits for the future, USA Today said in a report.
Dr. Michael Fingerhood, from Medicine and Public Health at Johns Hopkins, though not being associated with the study, told USA Today about the important lessons people can learn by following Dry January.
"Is it a positive? I think it is," he said. "There's going to be people that say I feel better, I sleep better, I lost weight and I'm more motivated to exercise."
The strong-willed lot can probably go completely off alcohol at once, but form many it's not that easy. For such individuals, the month-long abstinence has to be a gradual and well-planned process.
Co-director of the Centre for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Timothy Wilens told USA Today that the people taking up this challenge need to ensure certain things in advance to make the Dry January a success.
"When you're walking in and say 'I want to stop using' - add something to it. What are you going to replace it with? How are you going to fill the time?"
Replacing alcohol with physical activity is the best bet to fight off the cravings. At the same time, it's never a good idea to avoid social situations where alcohol might be available, as it may lead to a feeling of isolation. Instead of staying home, it's always better to replace alcohol with non-alcoholic beverages while hanging out with family and friends.
Also, family and friends should ideally be intimated prior to starting Dry January because an effective social support system can prove to be highly effective in holding people accountable for their drinking habits.
One needs to keep in mind that tiny failures and goof-ups shouldn't discourage people from continuing on their path of self-improvement.
"You're going to have slip-ups, and slip-ups are part of the condition," Wilens told USA Today. "It's managing them, not seeing them as a failure."
"It's like people being on a diet," he said. "It doesn't mean you should trash your diet, it just means you had a cookie."
So an accidental glass of wine isn't a reason to throw your Dry January straight out of the window. It's just an opportunity to reflect upon what went wrong and how can it be avoided in the future.
However, such a long period of abstinence is not recommended for those who suffer from physical dependence on alcohol. Going cold turkey can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms in such people and any attempts of de-addiction should be made under medical supervision. (ANI)

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