P People who participate in Dry January report physical, psychological and emotional benefits Immediate, according to the first qualitative study of the popular challenge of alcohol abstinence.
The vast majority of those whose points of view were studied reported having a positive experience of temporary abstinence. In addition, some reported that the experience allowed them to become a "new me", a new and improved version of themselves.
An estimated five million adults in the United Kingdom participated in Dry January 2017, organized by the charity Alcohol Concern, which is now part of Alcohol Change UK.
Reasons for January Dry
This new research from the University of Leeds has tried to understand its popularity by analyzing the experiences of participation of the participants.
The study was conducted independently of Alcohol Concern, but examined more than 30 promotional emails issued by the charity during dry January in 2017.
The researchers also analyzed the participants' experiences by participating in the evaluation of 62 publications, some 2,500 comments made between January 1, 2017 and February 4, 2017 in an open Facebook group.
Based on the comments, they found that fundraising for charity was not an important reason to participate among participants, who were more likely to talk about personal benefits.
These include quality of sleep, appearance, energy levels, weight loss, levels of self-esteem and surprise upon discovering one's own strength and willpower.
" It provides physical, psychological and emotional benefits in both the short and long term. "
The dry month of January differs from many government health campaigns around the world, as it reinforces the positive experiences that come from refraining from alcohol, instead of highlighting the effects of alcohol and the health effects of drinking.
The study, published in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, suggests that government agencies may consider reforming alcohol policies in light of the popularity and apparent success of this campaign.
The report's author, Dr. Henry Yeomans, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the School of Law, said: "The campaigns have traditionally focused on messages related to the effects of alcohol to reduce alcohol consumption, but Dry January focuses on positive aspects to encourage people to become new, low-alcohol versions of themselves.
"Dry January allows people to learn about themselves and feel that they are fulfilling their potential. Through this type of self-discovery and self-optimization, it has a substantial impact on the lives of a large number of participants.
"It provides physical, psychological and emotional benefits in both the short and long term.
"Participants generally feel that they are gaining something instead of losing something by abstaining for a month. Therefore, the dry month of January is not about self-control or self-denial. It's about self-training. "
The experience of most of the participants reinforced the claim by the organizers of Dry January that temporary abstinence from alcohol will improve physical well-being, and many have a positive emotional response to the challenge.
" insightful and stimulating "
Commenting on the research, Daniel Burn, Director of Health Improvement (Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco) at City Hall Leeds described it as "insightful and stimulating," saying he explored the meaning and importance of Alcohol Change UK during a month of alcohol-free defiance, while recognizing the need for more research on the subject.
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The document "New Year, you new: qualitative study of dry January, self-formation and positive regulation" is available online in the journal Drugs: education, prevention and politics.
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