If you’re hoping to be healthier into the new year, going sober for a month, or as the trend calls it, “Dry January,” might be the idea for you.
Dry January started in 2013 as a campaign created by Alcohol Change UK to empower people to take a break from drinking for the month.
A poll by Morning Consult saw interest in the trend go up from 13% to 15% in 2021, and is predicted to be 19% in 2022.
Glenn Deveney of Serenity Lane, a non-profit substance abuse treatment center, thinks the increase of popularity in the trend is a net positive.
“Wonderful to hear healthy lifestyle change trends that give an individual the opportunity for healing, saving money, finding new hobbies,” said Deveney the Bend Office Program Manager for Serenity Lane.
The trend can be documented on social media through the hashtag #dryjanuary, but is also meant to be completed more privately.
Last year, the American Addiction Centers found 43% of Oregonians quit their Dry January before passing the month milestone.
Though not finishing the month can be the result of many reasons, one is the stigma around sobriety being “not fun” or facing assumptions.
According to Alcohol Change UK, some of the best ways to block out that stigma is checking the venue you’re attending to find their non-alcoholic selection, not questioning people when they don’t wish to drink, and being aware of your own comments around drinking and sobriety.
“I think the big thing is communication and being around people that you can discuss this with,” Deveney said.
Another way to help complete a Dry January, is with non-alcoholic beverages that taste similar to the real thing.
Several breweries in Central Oregon offer non-alcoholic beers.
CRUX Fermentation Project released its first non-alcoholic beer, NØ MØ, last spring.
“I think the big thing is, when you go over to Europe, probably 10% of the malt beverages people consume are non-alcoholic and America kind of has, we’ve been in that half percent, 1% range, and I think we’re just starting to socially catch up to Europe and kind of healthfully catch up to them too,” said Larry Sidor the Master Brewer and Founder of the CRUX Fermentation Project.
“Even if something does begin as a trend or a fad, the opportunity still exists for healthy change and gaining an awareness of a deeper issue,” Deveney said.
As the trend inspires people to make a healthy change, know that some strategies to stay sober don’t work for everyone.
Everyone is different, and if you have any questions beyond the trend, here’s some confidential help lines to contact:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Oregon Youthline: 877-968-8491
Delphi Health Group: (866)-520-2708