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If you want to be in the know about how RISE Drug Free MKE partners are creating change in Milwaukee County, you’ve come to the right place.

Is Dry January for You?

Since its inception in 2013, Dry January has inspired millions across the globe to reassess their drinking habits. Many participants learned just how easy it is to live a full life without alcohol for a month. While this may come as a surprise, it’s increasingly trendy to be alcohol free, as younger generations continue to consume alcohol at a lower frequency than previous generations and more and more Americans are “sober curious.”

With celebrities such as Tom Holland, Lucy Hale, and Kim Kardashian opening up about their own experiences with alcohol, the popularity of alcohol-free drink mocktails, going sober, even for one month, has never been easier – or cooler.

Is Giving Up Alcohol for a Month Really Beneficial?

Dry January was created by Alcohol Concern (now called Alcohol Change UK) and Frank Posillico, who initially hailed the weight loss benefits after a month of abstaining from alcohol.  His story inspired Emily Robinson, who was training for her first half marathon and was curious if giving up alcohol was the secret to better athletic performance.

Spoiler alert: It was, and Emily was so shocked by her results that she began a mission to educate others of the benefits of giving up drinking, if only for a month. At first, the public was skeptical: could there really be a benefit to giving up drinking for a month?

The answer was a resounding yes.  In fact, one in three American adults chose to abstain from drinking in January 2022. More than two-thirds of all participants stated they saw improvements to their overall health. Many tout the benefits of living sober for a month,  including better sleep, lower rates of depression, and higher quality workouts.

Plus, many Dry January participants said quitting alcohol, even for just a month, allowed them to better focus on their relationships with others and pay attention to things they might have missed while drinking.

A Lifesaver

For some, Dry January is more than a lifestyle change, it’s a lifesaver. It certainly was for Traci Shoblom of Southern California, according to The child of an alcoholic, Shablom never believed she had a problem drinking, until she began to notice that her life increasingly revolved around alcohol. Determined to turn her life around, she started her first month of sobriety during Dry January 2019 and was stunned by the results.

“It really helped me understand all the reasons I drank and to challenge all the assumptions I had about alcohol and the role it played in my life,” Shablom said.  

While the first three weeks of Dry January were a challenge, she was shocked when she began to see the results, finding that she now had greater emotional balance, better skin, and a better relationship with her partner, Larry.

Thanks to Dry January, Shablom was able to rediscover a life without drinking and has never looked back, deciding to remain sober even after Dry January was over.

So, how can you tell if Dry January is right for you? If you’re not alcohol dependent and want to experience the benefits that a month without drinking can provide you, Dry January may be just the right time to take your first steps in the world of sober living.

That being said, Dry January is not safe for individuals with a history of alcohol dependence as sudden and unsupervised cessation can be fatal. Please contact your doctor to discuss the best way for you to quit alcohol.

If you’re interested in partaking in Dry January but aren’t sure if it’s safe for you, you should consult a qualified healthcare provider. If you or a loved one is struggling to control their drinking, help is available. Call 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 for free, confidential, and nonjudgmental help in quitting, including help in navigating treatment options.