Try and Go Dry
If you failed at a full “Dry January,” you have an opportunity to try again, and this time, there are fewer sober days required.
April is Alcohol Awareness month and part of the campaign is to “try and go dry” for 72 hours. The goal is to stop drinking for a full weekend, Friday through Monday, and see how you feel on those alcohol-free days. You are also encouraged to have a group of close friends or family join along for support.
As part of National Alcohol Awareness Month, the public is encouraged to start conversations with loved ones about alcohol, especially if there is a change in behavior associated with alcohol use.
The Community Affairs Director at Greenhouse Treatment Facility in Dallas, Texas recommends starting that conversation as soon as possible.
“A lot of the time it’s a friend or family member who will recognize the problem first before the one struggling with addiction realizes it,” says Philip Van Guilder, Greenhouse Treatment Facility.
“The best thing a loved one can do is find that moment when you can sit down and have a talk.”
Another reason behind cutting out cocktails for a few days is to see how much of your weekend revolves around drinking. The intent is to shift the focus and mindfully explore alternative sober activities.
If you find it was difficult to manage 72 hours without drinking, that struggle could signal a dependence on alcohol that should be more closely examined. If you start to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, seek medical attention, right away.
Staying Social While Sober
You may be having trouble deciding what to do if your weekend typically includes wine at home or a regular happy hour. One recommendation is to throw an alcohol-free and healthy party. For example, invite over friends, neighbors, and family to enjoy social gatherings without any alcohol. Focus on a different activity such as a game night, cooking, book club, or enjoy a movie.
It can also be a great time to start or ramp up an exercise regimen, such as:
- Trying a new sport.
- Signing up for a local walk or run.
Plus, taking a break from booze can benefit your bank account. According to recent data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, men spend more than $400 a month on alcohol and women spend around $225.
Alcohol Use Disorder
The Alcohol Awareness campaign also aims to reduce the social stigma associated with alcoholism and to educate people on how the disease can be addressed, offering help and advice for families as well as direct engagement with those afflicted with alcohol addiction.
Recognizing the signs of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) can help determine if you or someone close to you may need additional help.
Some of the signs of an AUD may include:1
- The consumption of alcohol in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
- Unsuccessful efforts to control or cut down alcohol use.
- Strong desires or cravings to drink.
- The need to consume increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication.
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms after reducing or stopping alcohol use.
If you are beginning to recognize a pattern of problematic substance use in yourself or a loved one, be sure to reach out for help. American Addiction Centers (AAC) not only treats alcohol addiction, but co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety and depression as well. If you are looking for rehab near Dallas, our admissions navigators can see if you’d be a good fit for our Greenhouse treatment center. Call .