Dry January not so dry? A slip isn't a fail, experts say

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Managing alcohol consumption during stressful times like the pandemic can be particularly challenging.

How is your Dry January going? If you’ve managed to abstain from alcohol so far, pat yourself on the back. But if your plans already have been derailed a time or two, don’t beat yourself up, experts say: When it comes to quitting drinking, a slip is not a fail.

“It certainly doesn’t mean all is lost,” said Dr. Brian Hurley, a Los Angeles addiction specialist and president-elect of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “People can absolutely get back on track.”

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Started in 2013 by a British charity called Alcohol Change U.K., the Dry January challenge is to see if you can go alcohol-free for the month, beginning the new year with a fresh, healthier start.

But even if you haven’t succeeded 100 percent at Dry January, there are benefits to giving it a good try, Hurley and others say.

Global Tech News Daily

“I wouldn’t look at slipping up as being unusual or representing a failure in any way,” Hurley said. “I might think about it as part of learning. So if someone had intended to not drink during the month of January, and there was a situation in which they drink, that’s a learning opportunity. They can figure out what to put in place to either avoid that situation in the future or when faced with that situation again, find an alternative to drinking.”

Top tips for completing a ‘dry January’

Jan. 7, 202207:11

Global Tech News Daily

Those who slip up during Dry January still may be engaging in the important process of re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol, said addiction expert George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

They may start to notice that their bodies feel better when they don’t drink — or when they drink less — and that can provide extra motivation to make lasting changes in their alcohol consumption, whether that’s stopping drinking or drinking more moderately, according to Koob.

“If you feel better when you’re not drinking, your body is trying to tell you something, and you should listen to your body,” he said.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than two alcoholic drinks a day for men and one for women. A standard drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Heavy alcohol use is defined as men drinking more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, heavy drinking is more than three drinks a day or more than seven drinks per week.

People hoping for a Dry January who slip up should be kind to themselves and “keep trying,” Koob advised.

“Somebody who has a small slip, even a big slip, but they’re re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol, all in all it’s a good thing,” Koob said. “I don’t think one should catastrophize a slip. Kind of go around the obstacle at that point and see if you can sustain a little longer the next time.”

Pandemic stress and self-medicating

If Dry January seems particularly challenging this year, it may be related to the weight of the ongoing pandemic, with virus fears, social isolation, economic woes and more. Managing drinking can be particularly hard during stressful times, and studies are showing an increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic.

“Somewhere around 30 percent of the population seems to be drinking more, and those who are drinking more are drinking to cope with stress,” Koob said.

Dr. Kevin Wandler, a psychiatrist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and chief medical officer of The Recovery Village drug and alcohol rehab treatment centers across the country, said he’s hearing many patients citing pandemic stress as a factor in their drinking.

“Self-medicating with alcohol is legal, but it certainly can be a health problem,” he said.

Too much alcohol can cause a range of medical and personal issues. Intoxication carries well-known immediate health risks — including falls or other injuries, alcohol poisoning and impaired judgment that can lead to risky sex or drunken driving and traffic accidents. Too much drinking also can interfere with a good night’s rest and, as many know, cause a miserable hangover the next morning.

Over the long term, excess alcohol consumption not only can lead to alcohol use disorder but potentially to a lengthy list of other negative health effects, including heart and liver problems, some cancers, pancreatitis and a weakened immune system.

But reducing alcohol consumption — even if a person doesn’t quit altogether — carries health benefits, Wandler said. The positives can be seen pretty quickly, and small successes may lead to bigger ones.

“Especially if you’re a heavier drinker, giving up alcohol even for two weeks will have a positive impact on your blood pressure, your heart, your mental well-being,” he said.

The NIAAA has a Rethinking Drinking website with tips to help people reduce their drinking and gauge whether they might have an alcohol use disorder. People with serious drinking problems can experience potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms if they quit cold turkey, so medical supervision is advised.

Wandler emphasized that change can take time, so people who slip up with their Dry January goals should try to “reboot” tomorrow.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, especially if this is not what you’ve ever tried to do before,” he said. “Most of us aren’t that good at making lifestyle changes so quickly.” 

News Related


Third Ebola patient dies in DR Congo

The third Ebola patient in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo has died, the World Health Organisation says, the latest fatality in an outbreak first reported last month. The 48-year-old man ... Read more »

UK Labour leader probed on 'virus breach'

UK police say they will investigate opposition leader Keir Starmer over a potential breach of COVID-19 lockdown rules in 2021 after receiving significant new information, delivering an embarrassing blow to ... Read more »

Beijing nervous, COVID cases not dropping

Beijing residents are fretting over tightening COVID-19 curbs in its biggest district and dozens of new cases reported daily as China's leaders reiterated their resolve to battle the virus and ... Read more »

US health authorities warn of clot peril with Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

Blood clots have ended high hopes for Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine vaccine. Photo: Getty Live US regulators are strictly limiting who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due ... Read more »

Far West hospitality venues feeling impacts of COVID on staffing numbers and work

Far west hospitality venues say they are running on bare minimum staffing numbers as COVID impacts their operations. Key points: A number of local venues are considering, or have reduced, their opening ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Third dose vaccine milestone reached as daily cases fall below 10,000

WA has marked a long-awaited vaccine milestone, a day after COVID cases reached a record peak. The Health Department has reported the third dose vaccination rate has reached 80.1 per ... Read more »

FDA restricts use of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine due to blood clot risk

The Food and Drug Administration put rigid limits on who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, saying the vaccine should only be given to people who ... Read more »

WHO says true pandemic death toll is 15 million — not six million

Live Nearly 15 million people were killed either by coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems during the first two years of the pandemic,  the World Health Organisation estimates. ... Read more »

WHO links 14.9mln deaths to COVID-19

Nearly 15 million people were killed either by coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems during the first two years of the pandemic, the World Health Organisation estimates. ... Read more »

Eleven African countries in 5th COVID wave

COVID-19 infections are on the rise in Africa but are becoming less and less fatal, an Africa CDC official says. Countries experiencing their fifth wave of cases are seeing tallies ... Read more »

Omicron 'just as severe', US study says

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, unlike assumptions made in previous studies that it was more transmissible but less severe, a large study in ... Read more »

Elderly man in Shanghai wakes up in a hearse on the way to the morgue after wrongly being declared dead

COVID has taken a huge toll on the elderly all over the world. But it appears the authorities in China may have been a little over-zealous in the case of ... Read more »

‘No end in sight’: In Beijing, fears of Shanghai-style lockdown

Officials in Chinese capital have designated 518 coronavirus outbreak sites amid growing fears of a city-wide lockdown. Read more »

COVID in WA: State reports more than 10,000 daily cases for first time in the coronavirus pandemic

WA has reported more than 10,000 daily cases of COVID for the first time in the pandemic, just days after the mask mandate and other restrictions were dropped. WA Health ... Read more »

Western Australia records more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases

Western Australia has recorded 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 overnight, surpassing the original prediction for the peak of the Omicron wave. The spike in infections comes less than one week ... Read more »

NSW push vaccines with flu on the rise

Cases of flu in NSW have more than doubled in recent weeks, leading to a spike of hospitalisations. Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said there were more than 1024 cases ... Read more »

Victoria becomes the first state to record over 3000 Covid deaths

Victoria has hit an unwanted Covid milestone after becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to record over 3000 deaths due to the virus. The Victorian Department of Health reported 14 new ... Read more »

IMAGE: Pilot program offers free flu vaccines

IMAGE: Pilot program offers free flu vaccines News Video Read more »

Can I get the flu jab if I've just had COVID-19? What you need to know about winter with both viruses

Flu season has officially arrived, with Australia already seeing thousands of cases of the virus. Both COVID-19 and influenza are now circulating in the community, and health authorities are pleading with people to ... Read more »

US Secretary of State Blinken has COVID-19

The US State Department says Secretary of State Antony Blinken has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner and related events over the weekend. Spokesman Ned ... Read more »

Virus cases dip except in Americas, Africa

The World Health Organisation says the number of newly reported coronavirus cases and deaths globally has continued to fall in the last week, continuing a decline that first began in ... Read more »

COVID in WA: State tallies record 9782 daily coronavirus cases

WA has reported a record 9782 daily COVID infections less than a week after dropping the majority of restrictions designed to contain the virus. However, the number of people in ... Read more »

SA to change virus management

South Australia will change how it handles the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as it prepares to end the state's emergency management declaration. The new Labor government has introduced legislation to amend ... Read more »

Three new Omicron subvariants in Australia

Three new Omicron subvariants have reached Australia and health authorities say people who contract the virus should wait three months before getting their next COVID-19 vaccination. Associate Professor Stuart Turville ... Read more »

Outcome on COVID vaccine IP waiver: WTO

The four main parties to negotiations on an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines have prepared an “outcome document” for approval by the broader membership. World Trade Organisation director-general Ngozi ... Read more »

Beijing tests, Shanghai eases some curbs

Some of Shanghai's 25 million people have managed to get out for short walks and shopping after enduring more than a month under a COVID-19 lockdown while China's capital Beijing ... Read more »

Regional post-COVID mental health crisis

The demand for regional mental health services has spiked since the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many psychologists to close their books because they can't keep up. It's been described as a ... Read more »

Beijing preparing for major COVID-19 spike

Beijing is preparing new hospital facilities to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases, even though the numbers of new cases remain low. A 1000-bed hospital at Xiaotangshan in the ... Read more »

Experts warn of possible renewed flu spike

Health experts are warning of a renewed spread of seasonal flu after two years of COVID-19 restrictions left fertile ground for the potentially deadly bug to spread. The number of ... Read more »

Hong Kong to further ease COVID curbs

Hong Kong will further ease COVID-19 restrictions, allowing bars to open until 2am and doubling the number of diners permitted at a table, as cases in the global financial hub ... Read more »

ACT to drop COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, teachers in Canberra

Workers in healthcare and education settings across Canberra will soon no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the ACT Health Minister has announced. Key points: Workers in disability and ... Read more »

Victoria and NSW record almost 20,000 Covid cases in 24 hours

Victoria and NSW have experienced big increases in their daily Covid numbers, with the states recording more than 19,000 new cases combined. NSW recorded 9656 infections in the 24 hours ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Infections track up with one historical death reported

Reported COVID infections tracked back up on Tuesday to 7929 with small increases also recorded in the number of people in hospital and ICU. One historical death was also reported, ... Read more »

COVID variants detected in SA for first time as health authorities also prepare for flu

South Australia's public health chief has issued a warning to parents about reduced flu immunity ahead of winter, as new COVID variants are detected in the state. Key points: SA has recorded its ... Read more »

COVID-19, flu winter resurgence predicted

Authorities are warning the easing of COVID-19 restrictions will see a spike in transmissions as well as a resurgence of flu this winter. Acting Australian Chief Medical Officer Sonya Bennett ... Read more »

Coronavirus Watch: Catch COVID this summer? Don't expect an Airbnb refund

If you catch COVID-19 ahead of your summer vacation, don’t expect an Airbnb refund. More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb says it will no ... Read more »

COVID setback for Shanghai, Beijing braces

China's commercial capital of Shanghai has been dealt a blow as authorities reported 58 new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine areas, while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of its people ... Read more »

Tourists return as NZ pandemic rules ease

New Zealand has welcomed back tourists from the US, Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years after dropping most ... Read more »

'Unprecedented' code white for three days as Mount Gambier hospital battles staffing shortages

South Australia's largest regional hospital was placed under a code white rating for three days last week, in what is understood to be a first for the facility.  Key points: ... Read more »

COVID in WA: Elective surgery opens up as virus cases remain steady

WA has recorded 5847 new COVID cases and zero deaths to 8pm on Sunday night, as private hospitals resume taking bookings for elective surgery for non-essential procedures. The numbers are ... Read more »