Dry January And People With Addiction
A New Year’s custom that sees over four million people a year participate, Dry January has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Encouraging individuals to consume less alcohol and reflect on their alcohol consumption habits, Dry January promotes a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle.
Although an increasing number of people are encouraged to reap the rewards that participating in Dry January boasts, across the United Kingdom, half a million people are sadly reliant on alcohol.
While the benefits of participating in Dry January are somewhat advantageous for those who have not developed an addiction to alcohol, it could be debated whether Dry January is beneficial for people with addiction.
In order to determine whether individuals struggling with addictions should participate in Dry January, we have delved into the benefits of Dry January and people with addiction below.
Benefits Of Participating In Dry January
Since the birth of Dry January in 2013, individuals across the world have committed to reducing alcohol consumption for 31 days.
As alcohol consumption sees various short and long-term side effects arise, a plethora of benefits are often experienced when alcohol is abstained from.
Below, we have outlined just a handful of the benefits that typically come hand-in-hand with participating in Dry January.
– Reduced risk of physical illnesses such as liver and heart disease
– Decreased risk of struggling with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression
– Increase in concentration and focus
– Greater levels of energy
– Enhanced sleeping patterns
– Ability to save money
– Enhanced moods
In addition to the above benefits, participating in Dry January could reduce the number of people admitted to hospital due to alcohol-related illnesses and accidents.
Each year, there are almost 1.3 million hospital admissions made relating to alcohol consumption.
Many of the admissions made result from mental and behavioural disorders linked to alcohol use, accidents related to alcohol consumption and diseases.
However, as an increasing number of individuals participate in Dry January across the country, this figure has the potential to reduce significantly.
Does Dry January Reduce Alcohol Consumption Going Forward?
As various benefits are associated with Dry January, studies have been conducted to determine whether these are short-lived or whether the benefits positively impact an individual’s life beyond the 31-day period.
In 2016, a British study concluded that individuals that abstained from alcohol during Dry January consumed 50% less alcohol in the following six months. This finding indicates that some individuals who participate in and complete Dry January are less likely to desire alcohol in the following six months, possibly due to the associated benefits.
However, it should be noted that the same study also highlighted that upon completing Dry January 10% of participants relapsed. This is because Dry January does not promote a long-term abstinent.
Although, as touched on above, some individuals do consume 50% less alcohol upon completing Dry January, others will return to drinking alcohol. Some may even consume larger quantities of alcohol.
Dry January And People With Addictions
If you have unfortunately found yourself struggling with an alcohol addiction, you may find yourself considering engaging in Dry January. Although, as discussed above, various benefits come hand in hand upon doing so, addictions require professional support.
While you may believe that participating in Dry January will curb your addiction and enable you to overcome your struggles, it should be noted that alcohol addictions are psychological illnesses.
Even though avoiding alcohol consumption will enable your body to begin to heal from the physical side effects that addictions often impose, you will require psychological treatment if you are to overcome your addiction.
Furthermore, if you have developed an addiction, going cold turkey on alcohol will see you more likely to relapse in the near future.
This is because a reduction in alcohol consumption will see your body and brain crave toxins typically administered when alcohol is consumed.
As the cravings experienced intensify, you may find it difficult to cope. This will see you more likely to succumb to cravings in order to alleviate any pessimistic thoughts and feelings experienced.
Irrespective of the severity of your addiction, if you have become reliant on alcohol, reducing your intake or going cold turkey during Dry January will likely also cause you to experience various withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, many individuals find it somewhat challenging to manage withdrawal symptoms that are often encountered without medical assistance.
Just as those struggling with addictions will succumb to cravings, many also find themselves once again turning to alcohol in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Sadly, this is one of the leading causes of relapse.
In addition to the above, as research has previously determined, Dry January does not necessarily promote a long-term abstinent from alcohol.
When an addiction impairs an individual’s life, short-term solutions are not suitable. This is because overcoming an addiction takes time.
Those that wish to overcome their addiction must be ready and willing to commit to a substance-free future.
Considering the information outlined above, while Dry January is highly beneficial for individuals that have not become addicted to alcohol, it could be argued that Dry January and people with addictions do not go hand-in-hand.
Contact Step One Recovery For Addiction Support
Although Dry January may not necessarily be recommended to people with addictions, there is a plethora of support readily available to help you overcome your alcohol addiction.
At Step One Recovery, we provide rehabilitation programmes that focus on physically and psychologically overcoming addictions.
By evaluating the severity of your addiction and the impact it has so far had on your well-being, we can provide you with the treatment you need to overcome your addiction and mitigate the risk of relapse.
Instead of attempting to overcome your addiction alone by participating in Dry January, why not let us help you?
We understand that the thought of attending rehab may leave you feeling somewhat uneasy. However, we guarantee that the benefits of doing so are highly favoured.
Simply call us today on 0330 107 2950.