What Dry January Tells Us About Sobriety

woman stretching outside and feeling healthy after sobriety and dry January

Dry January is a campaign that first began in about 2013.  In its first year, around 4,000 individuals signed up for the campaign, and it has skyrocketed in popularity since then.  According to Alcohol Change, around 9 million people will have participated in Dry January in 2023.  Going sober can be a daunting process, and for many of the individuals who participate in Dry January, it’s with the knowledge that by the time February rolls around, the drinks may commence once again.

However, Canada’s new alcohol guidelines suggest that individuals have no more than two alcoholic drinks a week—what they consider to be “low-risk” amounts of alcohol to drink, with the only safe amount of alcohol being no alcohol at all.  We also know that if one struggles to give up drinking for 30 days, it could be a sign that a bigger problem is at play.

This is concerning when, according to the CDC, more than half of adults in the United States (around 150 million) report drinking alcohol in the last 30 days; about 17% of adults binge drink and 6% heavily drink, and nearly all heavy drinkers are also binge drinkers.  In total, that amounts to about 56 million adults binge drinking yearly, and about 19 million adults heavily drinking yearly.  If no amount of alcohol is safe, and many who drink aren’t just stopping at 2 drinks, the health risks are catastrophic, especially when we know that alcohol is associated with over 200 diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease.

But, for those who participate in Dry January, some are doing so because they want to go into February feeling fresh, healthy, and ready to take on the rest of the new year.  Going one month sober can have some real health benefits, too.  In fact, it can lead to different things like improved sleep, improved hydration, improved digestion, mental clarity, reduced blood pressure, and stabilized glucose levels.

However, these are just a few of the health benefits that one might encounter when going sober and staying sober; many of the benefits of sobriety come later on in sobriety, after the 30-day mark and onward, and can lead to mood improvements, improved weight, better skin health, better immune health, heart health, liver health, and more.

So, why aren’t we continuing sobriety year-round?

Yes, sobriety can be daunting, but if Dry January tells us anything about sobriety, it tells us that getting sober and staying sober is something that pays off.  We already know that alcohol comes with significant risks and that abstaining from alcohol comes with tons of benefits. If you feel like you might want to get sober, stay sober, and that you might need some help along the way, don’t hesitate to ask for help.  We want to see you succeed along your journey, and we want you to be the healthiest version of yourself that you can be.  If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol and wants to give sobriety a try, give us a call at 540-535-1111, or reach out to us at admissions@bridgingthegaps.com.

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