Dry January: The trend that says 'goodbye' to alcohol, 'hello' to your health


COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) — Across central Ohio, many people post on social media and talk to their friends about their pledge to drink no alcohol during the month of January. Participants tell 10TV the trend helps to launch into a new year with a physical and mental reset.

"My primary purpose is to practice discipline and it helps me create better workouts,” said local participant Mandy Bishop. “And then the health benefits are somewhat secondary but I definitely get better sleep. My skin looks better at the end of the month. I'm sharper and more attentive to anything I'm trying to tackle. There's (also) a weight loss component. Sometimes that can be a couple pounds or I've lost 10 pounds in January before."

Bishop is among millions of people across the world taking part in the challenge known best as “Dry January." The pledge among those taking part is to forego any wine, beer or liquor for 31 days. Local doctors call the challenge a good idea.

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“Well, its a wonderful trend, really,” said Ph.D and addiction medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Dr. Brad Lander. "It gives us a chance to recover, especially coming off the holidays when we're probably drinking more than we normally do."

While Dry January indicates a month without a drop of alcohol, Dr. Lander pointed out some people find it creates significant positive changes and push themselves to go longer.

"For the average person, a month is enough time to wipe the slate clean. Some decide to continue beyond January and continue for six months without alcohol and some find this decision to be life-changing,” said Dr. Lander.

The organization’s website says more than four million people took part in 2018 and posts online indicate the number is growing.

Here is a link to the Dry January blog post written by Ashley Jones, a certified nurse practitioner in the Department of Family Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.