Dry January: Is it worth giving up alcohol for a month?

Alcohol Concern has put the drinkers on the gauntlet: Can you manage a month without alcohol? The campaign, Dry Januaryaims to raise funds through donations, raise awareness of alcohol-related issues, and educate people about the health benefits of not drinking alcohol.

In addition to saving you alcohol, Alcohol Concern claims that abstaining from voting will help you lose weight and improve your sleep.

There’s no shortage of attendees – more than two million people signed up last year, but is there any evidence that Dry January works?

Gram for gram, alcohol contains almost the same amount of calories as pure fat, so you can abstain for a month Reduce your weightassuming you don’t eat more to compensate for the calorie loss. From drinking, fat builds up in the liver. After just two weeks, abstinence can restore your liver to health and reduce the risk of alcohol problems Liver disease.

As for sleep enhancement, there is clear evidence that you are getting one sleep better if you abstain from alcohol.

It’s gotten worse

So far so good but Alcohol Concern’s main goal is to change the drinking culture in the UK through events like Dry January. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Dry January causes any permanent change in the way we use alcohol or our beliefs and behavior about alcohol.

The campaign is based on the idea of social contagion. As your friends start reducing their alcohol consumption, the more likely you will adopt the same behavior.

Most people show disapproval when asked how much they drink. This can be seen in the consistent difference between self-reported alcohol consumption and total alcohol sales of HM revenue and customs.

General alcohol consumption has increased over the past 60 years. According to estimates by the alcohol industry, we consume 1.4 liters more alcohol per person than we do in 1975.

With the long-term consumption trend, the number of people developing alcohol-related health problems also increases. Since 2009 these have increased by 44% 50 years and older Access to alcohol treatment.

In general, alcohol costs each taxpayer £ 120 per year through the one million hospital admissions a year attributed to its use.

If we discovered alcohol today, we would be restricting and criminalizing its use just as we did for drugs like heroin. Objective investigation of harms related to 20 of the most widely used legal and illegal drugs classified alcohol as the most dangerous.

More harm than good?

In people who have become addicted to alcohol, abstaining from voting can cause a rebound effect. Paradoxically, when a person experiences withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness, the very things that many people find alcohol help them overcome short term. This rebound effect could lead to more serious effects for heavy drinkers, such as: Seizures and hallucinations. For this group, dry January may not be right for you as it can cause more harm than good.

The British Government’s consistent advice is available two dry days one week.

Alcohol guidelines have been difficult to communicate and there is general confusion about them safe consumption values. Dry January could create such confusion, sending the message that a month of abstinence eliminates the need for regular breaks from drinking.

Ian Hamilton, Lecturer in Mental Health, University of York

This article is republished by The conversation under a Creative Commons license. read this original article.

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