Dry January is an opportunity for people to assess their relationship with alcohol. A 2018 study found that an average of more than five drinks a week could take away years of a person’s life.
“The purpose of it is to challenge folks to reduce their consumption of alcohol if not follow the concepts of total abstinence and avoid alcohol altogether of the initial 31 days”, said Dr. Jay Piland, Longleaf Hospital Addictionologist.
Refraining from alcohol is a process 74-year-old William Arnold finds familiar as a former heavy drinker. Arnold explains that going from consuming a fifth of liquor a day to consciously considering his health making progress is his primary concern.
“I have had 60 years of drinking, and a lot of it was unproductive. It is not a pleasant life; what I would like to do is not have that experience,” said William Arnold.
Arnold says he shares his experiences with others to prevent them from going through the same thing and encourages people to take that first step. Addiction Medicine Specialist at Longleaf Hospital, Dr. Jay Piland, advises heavy drinkers to caution if participating in the Dry January campaign.
“One of the disadvantages to participating in this is someone who is a heavy user, and if they abruptly stop their consumption of alcohol, it could lead to withdrawal symptoms which could be life-threatening,” said Dr. Jay Piland.