For the New Year people resolve to quit drinking and develop healthy habits… for at least the month of January. Sober January, also referred to as Dry January, is a New Years resolutions trend originating in the UK that encourages drinkers to quit alcohol for the first month of each year. Participants take a month to recuperate from the holidays and all yesterday’s parties. But can abstaining from alcohol one month out of the year make a significant difference in a person’s health and wellbeing?
The Truth About Sober January
The staff of British Magazine New Scientist did a study on the health benefits of a month break from alcohol for consistent drinkers. They found that glucose levels – used to measure diabetes risk – dropped by approximately 16 percent, and fat in the liver dropped at least 15 percent for everyone in the study. Reducing fat in the liver helps prevent inflammation and liver disease.
Dr. James Ferguson, a liver specialist in the UK, argues that one month without alcohol doesn’t make a big difference. He believes that it’s more important to cut back on alcohol overall. Drinkers will not continue to make health improvements, or even maintain these kind of results if January is the only month sobriety sticks.
Dangers of Sober January
Dr. Ferguson warns that a sober January can actually lead to increased drinking in the following months, similar to binge eating after a restrictive diet. Drinkers may use Sober January as an excuse for heavy drinking in the months to follow, or to deny a drinking problem. A month of sobriety isn’t proof of healthy drinking habits, or long enough for the body to heal from alcohol damages. However, that doesn’t mean Sober January is without purpose or a silver lining.
With the right attitude, Sober January can inspire people to cut back on drinking and even stay sober long after the month is over. It can be the first step to a healthier life, as long as people don’t view it as a way to preserve their party lifestyle. Instead, think of Sober January as an opportunity to see what life is like without drinking.
Many people notice a decrease in spending, weight loss, and overall improved health just from cutting out alcohol for a month. With more time and energy to dedicate to meaningful hobbies and life goals, some people discover the joy of committing to Sober January all year long.
If you want to stop drinking, don’t just stop in January. The path to recovery can be very difficult for some people, which is why many people don’t last more than a month with this sober January trend. With the comprehensive rehab programs of Morningside Recovery, you can rest assured you’ll have the support you need to tackle your addiction for much longer than 31 days. These treatment options include:
To learn how you can enroll in one of these programs, call us today at 855-416-8202. Don’t let sober January be your only attempt at sobriety and call us today.