“Dry January” originally comes from Great Britain and is intended to create greater awareness of the consequences of alcohol consumption. What is the real benefit of going without alcohol for a month?
At Christmas and at the turn of the year, alcohol is a natural part of the festival for many people. As a rule, there is nothing wrong with a warming mulled wine at Christmas time or a glass of sparkling wine at New Year. But in Germany, a lot of high-proof alcohol is consumed. This harbors long-term health risks such as diseases of the liver and the gastric mucosa or cancer. According to the current annual report by the federal government’s drug commissioner, one in five adults drinks alarmingly high amounts of alcohol.
So the resolution to stay dry in the coming January comes at just the right time. But does “Dry January” really make up for all the alcoholic sins of the previous year? dr Ursula Marschall, the senior physician at Barmer Krankenkasse, has a clear opinion on this: “It is fundamentally good for your health not to drink alcohol. However, ‘Dry January’ is not a license to drink excessively during the other months.’
So while temporary alcohol fasting doesn’t make up for all past consumption, it does offer many health benefits. The checklist lists only some of the positive aspects. In addition, during a “Dry January” you have a good opportunity to question your own alcohol consumption. For example, you can pay attention to how easy or difficult abstinence is for you or why you would like to drink a glass. Anyone who finds it very difficult to give up may have already developed an addiction. In this case, the information hotline of the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on 0221 892031 can be the first point of contact and provide further help.
Checklist: The advantages of abstaining from alcohol
- Sleep becomes more restful. You fall asleep faster under the influence of alcohol, but at the same time, the quality of your sleep suffers.
- Hard liquor contains a lot of calories. A waiver can also have a positive effect on the scales.
- The immune system is strengthened, the ability to concentrate increases, and headaches decrease.
- The cardiovascular system, the gastric mucosa, and the liver also benefit from it.
- Also: If you are sober, you remain more independent. You can assess situations better, have a faster reaction time, and can still drive a car yourself.