After the excesses of the festive season, the run of parties and family gatherings it makes sense to give our bodies a chance to recover so the NHS’s Dry January campaign makes good sense.
A recent study found that Dry January leads to healthier drinking habits longer term as we really are creatures of habit so sticking with the monthly programme helps us changes our habits which in turn help us make better choices going forward.
The recent study looked at 857 UK adults taking part in the challenge. Around two-thirds of the sample successfully gave up drinking for one month.
Compared with those who failed to abstain, those who were successful were, unsurprisingly, more likely to drink less, have lower dependence scores, and be more able to refuse alcohol to start with choosing tea, coffee or the healthiest of all drinks, water instead..
Both successful abstainers and those who did not succeed in the challenge also had increased powers of abstinence and reduced consumption patterns up to six months later, albeit to a slightly lesser extent in those who did not succeed. So, in this sample at least, it seems taking part in the challenge brought benefits.
Whether you’re taking part in Dry January or not, keeping your alcohol consumption within recommended limits is wise all year round. If you are concerned about your drinking, speak with your GP or call Alcohol Concern or call the Alcohol Anonymous helpline on 0800 9177 650.