Dry January: The Benefits of Abstaining From Alcohol

To our parents, guardians, and young adults…
Some of you may have heard the term “dry January”, but what exactly does that mean? It has nothing to do with the weather or avoiding showers (thank goodness!). However, it does involve abstaining from drinking any type of alcohol for the whole month of January. It’s a sobriety challenge!

Now, before you freak out at the thought of not being able to have a glass of wine every now and then after a long day of work with dinner, there are actually a number of benefits that come with participating in Dry January! With taking on this sobriety challenge, you could find yourself losing some extra pounds, gaining better sleep, experiencing a drop in blood pressure levels, and even improved mood and energy among other things. You’d be saving a little money and taking advantage of the opportunity to form new habits. But most importantly, you would be modeling to your teens and other youth around you that it is possible to function without the use or influence of alcohol! Dry January can be an empowering experience  displaying the self-control of being less reliant on alcohol in social situations! This can encourage youth to do the same, especially if they find themselves in situations where their peers may be drinking around them and trying to influence them to do the same.
So, for the rest of this month (if you have not already started), we want to encourage you to take on the Dry January challenge! While doing so, talk to your kids about responsible drinking when coming of age, and the harms of underage drinking. Encourage them to make the healthy choice of not drinking until the age of 21 (if they decide they want to do so at that time), and resisting peer pressure situations. Believe it or not, your example of abstaining from alcohol and conversations with you about underage drinking can have a significant influence on your child’s choice to drink, so help them to make the healthy choice!