Examining The Health Benefits of a Dry January

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We know, we know: Christmas isn’t even here yet, and we’re talking about Dry January 2024.

But We have good reason!

We know that around this time of year, many people start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. One resolution that’s been popular over the past few years is something called Dry January.

Dry January is what it sounds like: a break from alcohol during the month of January. Some people quit altogether, while some simply dial back their consumption to see if it makes a difference to their health, happiness, or overall wellbeing.

Disclaimer: If you’ve been drinking every day for a long time, please consult a physician before discontinuing alcohol use. We don’t want to scare anyone, but I’s important to understand that long-term, chronic alcohol use can lead to serious health problems if you quit cold turkey or without medical supervision. The problems? Some issues related to alcohol withdrawal can lead to death: that’s why we advise long-term, chronic drinkers to consult a physician before considering a Dry January.

With that important information out of the way, we have to say: if you’re thinking about a Dry January, we think it’s a great idea. You’ll learn a lot about yourself, why you use alcohol in the first place, and how you can have fun and be social without drinking.

A Month Without Alcohol: What Happens?

If you stop drinking alcohol for a month, here’s what you can expect:

Those are the direct health benefits of eliminating or cutting back on alcohol. Here are a few of the indirect benefits:

  • Alcohol impairs immune function. Therefore, if you quit drinking, your body may be better able to fight off colds and the flu during winter.
  • If you do get a cold or flu, alcohol may interact negatively with over-the-counter medication, which can impair healing.
  • Alcohol consumption in men is associated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems
  • Alcohol is a depressant. Therefore, eliminating consumption may improve overall mood.

About That Disclaimer

Overall, for most people, cutting back from alcohol for a month is a great idea. However – and we repeat – chronic, long-term, daily drinkers put their health at risk when they quit without medical supervision. If you try Dry January and begin experiencing any of these symptoms soon after your last drink, seek professional medical help immediately:

Really, we’re not trying to scare you, we just want you to be safe. That means understanding the benefits and the risks of Dry January, and making a good choice based on the best information available.

Dry January 2024 Resources

If you’re all in, we recommend consulting these articles to help guide your Dry January:

If you’re thinking about Dry January but undecided, we recommend consulting the Alcohol Change UK Page. It’s loaded with helpful, accurate information on drinking, and safe, heathy ways to cut back, if that’s what you want to do.

If you think you need professional support for alcohol use disorder (AUD) or another type of addiction, please reach out to us at Pinnacle Treatment Centers today.

The materials provided on the Pinnacle Blog are for information and educational purposes only. No behavioral health or any other professional services are provided through the Blog and the information obtained through the Blog is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional. If you are in need of medical or behavioral health treatment, please contact a qualified health professional directly, and if you are in need of emergency help, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.