Benefits of Participating in Dry January

A drug and alcohol rehab counselor explains the health benefits of participating in Dry January.

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CLEVELAND – The new year has arrived and as people make their new year’s resolutions, you may hear some talking about participating in Dry January.

For those unfamiliar, it means not drinking any alcohol for the entire month.

Alan Berki, who is a drug and alcohol rehab counselor with Cleveland Clinic, said there are many health benefits.

“The condition of your skin, the increased amount of energy that you have, if you’re not replacing the alcohol with candy or sweets because you may start to crave those a little more if you stop drinking, you’ll definitely experience weight loss,” said Berki. 

Other benefits of giving up alcohol include sleeping better, having more time for other hobbies and even saving money.

Berki encourages everyone to take part in Dry January.

He said it can be a good time to reflect on your drinking habits and write down any goals you might have.

He warns, however, that heavy drinkers need to be careful and should consult with their physicians before taking part.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and in some cases, deadly.

Another tip he recommends is having some social support and avoiding possible temptations.

“The number one thing to do is if they’re trying to do a Dry January and they truly don’t want to drink, the best thing to do is to avoid the situations, so if at all possible not hang out in bars, or nightclubs, or go to parties where there is going to be heavy alcohol use,” he said.

According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, on days when alcohol is consumed, men should have no more than two drinks and a woman should only have one.

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