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Dry January challenge. Can you win with alcohol dependence?

Dry January challenge. Can you win with alcohol dependence?

Image source: © canva
Oliwia Ruta,
03.01.2024 17:00

January is a time for New Year's resolutions. Taking part in the "Dry January" challenge can help improve physical and mental health.

Dry January is an initiative in January where people commit to giving up alcohol consumption. This campaign runs throughout the first month of the new year and provides an excellent opportunity to reduce alcohol consumption on a long-term basis. The global challenge aims to promote healthy lifestyles, increase awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol on health, and support those who have decided to abstain.

Dry January: A challenge for adults

The Dry January campaign is a popular initiative for those looking to break their drinking habits, improve their mental and physical health, and save money. January is the ideal month to reflect on alcohol consumption as people begin to put their New Year's resolutions into practice. This initiative could be the perfect excuse to kick the alcohol habit or at least reduce the intake of harmful substances.

However, Dry January can be pretty challenging for many, especially if alcohol consumption is part of their social life or a means of dealing with stress. Social support, participation in challenge events, and replacing alcohol with healthier alternatives can help individuals along the road to success.

Dry January participants typically share their experiences on social media, offering additional motivation for others to take up the challenge. Many have reported positive changes in their mood, sleep, and even physical performance. Additionally, the month-long period of abstinence can prompt individuals to reconsider their drinking habits and make more informed decisions about their alcohol consumption.

Dry January is not just about abstaining from alcohol but also discovering alternative ways to spend your time, building healthier social relationships, and caring for your health. It is an excellent opportunity to rethink one's attitude towards alcohol and take steps towards a more balanced, healthier lifestyle.

Alcohol consumption affects health

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can cause severe damage to a person's body, mind, and overall life. Numerous studies have shown that alcohol negatively affects the body's normal functioning.

The most common effects of alcohol consumption are damage to vital organs such as the liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, and brain. Regular and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and even stroke.

Alcohol abusers often suffer from digestive system problems such as pancreatitis and stomach ulcers. Alcohol also negatively affects metabolism and can contribute to obesity. Additionally, alcohol harms the cardiovascular system.

These effects of alcohol consumption are not talked about

Robert Rutkowski is a well-known addiction therapist whom Patrycjusz Wyżga recently interviewed. During the interview, Rutkowski discussed the adverse effects of alcohol consumption, emphasising that there is no safe amount of alcohol. While the physical effects of alcohol are often discussed, Rutkowski also focused on the impact of alcohol on mental health.

Alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of depression and anxiety disorders, as well as amplify the symptoms of these illnesses in those who already suffer from them. Additionally, alcohol abuse can cause cognitive impairment, affecting memory, concentration, and thinking abilities. Rutkowski notes that such impairment can last for up to three months after alcohol use.

More and more doctors will soon start asking the question, "Do you drink alcohol?" instead of "Do you have an addiction?" [...] A lot of people have depressive states, which are not yet the kind of deep depression that requires pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy, but alcohol is an incredibly depressogenic substance that reduces the quality of perception of reality

- points out Robert Rutkowski in an interview on the "Didaskalia" channel.

Alcohol can also hurt our relationships with others, leading to problems in our social life. Drinking alcoholic beverages can contribute to conflicts within our families and can even cause divorce or a deterioration in our relationships with loved ones.

Alcohol abuse is also one of the primary causes of car accidents. Moreover, alcoholism can make it challenging to maintain a job. When under the influence of psychoactive substances, one cannot perform their duties effectively, and such behaviour is generally unacceptable to an employer.

The problem of alcoholism in Poland

Europe is the continent that consumes the most alcohol globally. Poland is among the top ten countries where alcohol usage is most popular. According to research conducted by the National Agency for the Solution of Alcohol Problems (Polish: Państwowa Agencja Rozwiązywania Problemów Alkoholowych), in 2021, Poland ranks 13th globally in alcohol consumption, with an average of 9.7 litres of pure alcohol per year per adult. Statistics show that 15 years ago, this figure was about one litre less, indicating an alarming upward trend.

Źródło: PARPA, YouTube: didaskalia, Ogólnopolskie Badania Nałogów

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