Many people chose to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink in January due to the public health campaign ‘Dry January’. If you’re one of them – well done!
Whatever your goal was, any achievement you make cutting back on alcohol is worthwhile. If you have already cut back this month, you should be feeling some positive benefits. These can include:
- Better sleep
- Better mood
- More energy
- Increased motivation
- Weight loss
- Increased concentration
- Improved productivity
- Saving money!
Some may think cutting back on alcohol for just one month is pointless, others may see it as an achievement. From a health perspective, it is important that you maintain healthy drinking habits all year round to improve your overall health. Giving up drinking for just one month may result in people binging again as soon as February 1st comes.
Commenting on the medical effects of Dry January. GP Ron McCulloch of Pall Mall Medical, who also has had 38 years’ experience working at Alcoholics Anonymous in Abu Dhabi, said:
“There are no health benefits associated with partaking in Dry January as my experience has shown me that it simply results in partakers binging much harder once their period of abstinence ends to reward themselves. A more gradual approach is strongly advised, even for a moderate drinker, as it doesn’t have the same relapse rates as going cold turkey.”
“If you are a heavy drinker, the body will definitely experience shock and can harm an individual’s health. Common withdrawal symptoms include tremors, anxiety, insomnia, aggression and loss of verbal communication skills.”
“There’s no magic fix or diet that will help you feel better in January. Withdrawing from alcohol takes time and commitment. For those with strong addictions, cognitive behaviour therapy is the most recommended form of treatment.”
“With that said, a moderate drinker who does decide to embark on Dry January as a form of motivation for their New Year’s general health kick, should be commended. The individual may become more conscious of the number of units they drink throughout the year and begin to see long term health benefits.”
At Pall Mall we offer next day appointments with GP’s who can help you plan a healthy approach to withdrawing from alcohol. Find out more here.