Is The Popular ‘Dry January’ All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Giving up alcohol for the month of January is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. It’s called ‘Dry January’ and doctors say it’s a good idea if you do it the right way.

“I don’t know if it would be worth it but maybe for an alcoholic possibly,” said Shalay Thomas.

The hashtag #DryJanuary is all over social media, with photos and videos suggesting ways to stay busy that don’t involve drinking.

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So CBS13 asked Dr. Daniel McCrimons: Does giving up alcohol for a month do any good?

“It depends upon how long that chronic state of drinking had been,” Dr. McCrimons said.

USDA Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. And giving that up could mean repairs to your liver, a boost to your memory, and a reduction in anxiety.

But Dr. McCrimons also says making permanent changes takes more than a 30 days.

“If you take time off from drinking, you have some mild repair,” Dr. McCrimons said. “But then what happens is that if you go back to drinking again, whatever repair you had will then recede.”

One of the dangers of suddenly going cold turkey is binge drinking before and after the dry month.

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“There needs to be some kind of moderation with what you are doing in December, no different than what you would do any other month of the year,” Dr. McCrimons said.

The doctor’s best advice: start 2018 by focusing on what makes you a better you.

“Overall, it really is a sort of an all-year-round desire that you try to feel happier and try to feel a little bit more connected to yourself,” Dr. McCrimons said.

There is a UK-based app called Dry January.  You can enter your goals and it has a countdown of how many days you have left until you can drink again. And it tracks the average amount of money you save by skipping the drinks.