After perhaps over-indulging during the Christmas holidays, we all might benefit from cutting back on the drink. It’s why committing to an alcohol-free January is such a popular challenge, promoted every year by Alcohol Change UK since 2013.
In their study involving 800 people, Sussex University1 reported that 72% of those who managed to abstain for a whole month ended up being more responsible and healthy in their drinking for at least 6 months following their tee-total period.
Participating in this challenge also led to many noticing they had increased energy levels (67%), better concentration (57%) and even improved skin quality (54%). Some particularly succeeded in their weight-loss goals, with 58% finding it easier to drop the pounds thanks to dry January.
In France, the authorities are not promoting Dry January in the coming year, and medical journals like the Lancet are rather surprised. On their Twitter page, they published "No Dry January for France. A missed opportunity? Or the powerful influence of lobbyists?". The country’s addiction associations have similar fears, calling on the government to "not give in to the pressure of lobbying".
1 Richard O. de Visser, Emily Robinson, Rod Bond. Voluntary Temporary Abstinence From Alcohol During “Dry January” and Subsequent Alcohol Use. Health Psychology. 2016, Vol. 35, No. 3, 281–289