DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The new year is underway and many people are starting their New Year’s resolutions. One, in particular, is growing in popularity: Dry January.
For 31 days, those participating in Dry January will cut alcohol consumption out of their life, if not completely then partially. It’s a new New Year’s resolution that has grown since it first started in the United Kingdom in 2013.
“I’ve seen it all over social media, people encouraging people to participate in Dry January and I think that makes it fun, it makes it exciting,” said Tina Rezash Rogal, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communication with the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services.
A report from CNN found that in 2022, 35% of American Adults will take part in Dry January.
Besides growing in popularity online, Dry January has shown to be beneficial for those who take part even after the 31 days are up. According to a study in the British Journal of General Practice, taking part in Dry January can significantly improve metabolism, help you shed weight, lower blood pressure and dramatically reduce levels of insulin resistance. The research also found that participants ended up drinking less once the month was up.
“After going through Dry January and having 31 days of feeling these benefits of maybe losing a couple of pounds and getting better sleep, what the research shows is that just encourages people to maybe not be totally dry in the months moving past January, but at least cutting down on their alcohol intake,” said Rezash Rogal.
Cutting out alcohol can be easier said than done. To reduce alcohol consumption, the Rethinking Drinking website suggests setting goals, avoiding triggers, and finding alternatives like non-alcoholic drinks. Many bars and restaurants offer non-alcoholic versions of drinks and there is a growing market for zero-proof beverages.
“We’ve noticed over the past couple of years that there is a growing demand for other options besides alcohol in social settings, kind of adult drinks that aren’t alcohol,” said Shane Anderson, owner of Ghostlight Coffee and Bottle Shop by Ghostlight.
Bottle Shop opened in 2021 as the first spirit-free bottle shop in Ohio. It offers the same products that could be found at any bottle shop, but all products on the shelves are alcohol-free, from wine to beers and spirits.
“For the most part everything tastes very similar to the real thing,” said Anderson “You might not get quite the same amount of burn as you would have in a real whiskey or real alcoholic beverage.”
Experts say what makes taking part in Dry January easier is doing it with friends.
“It’s easier to do it if you have a buddy,” said Rezash Rogal. “It’s easier to go to a restaurant and say ‘okay tonight we are not going to order an alcoholic beverage together because we are doing Dry January together.’”