There’s no denying that, generally speaking, Australians can be a bit of a boozy bunch. Having a drink after work, as a catch-up, or on dates is just a part of our cultural norm. So what happens when COVID occurs, lockdowns happen, and pubs close?
Well, that didn’t stop us. Lockdown saw us splash out more than $2 billion on alcohol across 2020, each household spent an average of $1,891 on alcohol. Turns out 14% of us drank more than we usually did.
Now that the New Year has started, as well as the resolutions and goals that come along with it, it looks like more and more Aussies are deciding to partake in Dry January. Yep, kind of like Dry July, except, as you can guess, it’s in January. It’s pretty big in the UK, with one in five Brits partaking in it.
So why should we join the Brits and take part in it? It turns out that out of the people who took part in Dry January in the UK, 70% found they were drinking notably less seven months later. That’s helpful, as a recent study found that drinkers who report higher levels of sensitivity to the rewarding and pleasurable effects of alcohol were more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder over the next ten years.
Avoiding alcohol for just 31 days can transform your health when followed by a more moderate and mindful approach to drinking. Other benefits include improved memory, mental clarity and better sleep. Oh, and one last benefit is liver regeneration — your liver can begin self-cleansing just an hour after your last beverage.
If you’re worried that there’ll be nothing good to drink whilst undergoing Dry January, don’t worry. Non-alcoholic beverage consumption increased by 4% in 2020 — a small start, but a start nonetheless.
You can start by picking up some Naked Life Beverages at your local Coles or Woolies, or major independent stores. They’ve got flavours like virgin margarita, virgin G&T and a Pimms-inspired spritzer, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. They also offer iced tea so you’ll be kept nice and cool during summertime drinks.
So try giving up drinking for the rest of the month, and reap all those health benefits.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with alcohol and needs support, you can call Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015, which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. The ADIS webchat is available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm (including public holidays).