Many of us began January vowing to stop drinking for a month. However, everyday stressors can lead us to indulge in an occasional drink.  

But it’s not all bad news for those of who have fallen off the wagon, because one expert has claimed that a booze-free month might not be the best approach to reducing your alcohol intake long-term anyway.  

Sandra Parker (London-based coach for alcohol abuse), believes it is impossible to stop drinking alcohol completely for one month if you want to make a change in your drinking behavior. 

Sandra thinks there are better ways to cut down on alcohol over longer periods of time. 

An alcohol abuse coach claims simply cutting alcohol out for a month is a 'terrible idea' if you're keen to change your drinking habits in the long-term (stock image)

According to an alcohol abuse coach, cutting down on alcohol consumption for just a month can be a terrible idea. Stock image

“The best way to manage alcohol consumption for the long term without feeling deprived or reliant on willpower is to look at your reasons,” she stated. 

“Most people over drink to cope with their emotions and avoid unpleasant feelings. A professional can assist you with identifying the unconscious beliefs that are holding you back from using alcohol and helping you make changes. 

“Ultimately, this will lead to a shift in your mindset where alcohol is no longer necessary and you can either take it or not. 

The author says, “And that is the magical place to go. Zero alcohol desire equals zero temptation and no deprivation. 

London-based alcohol abuse coach Sandra Parker (pictured) runs Just The Tonic Coaching

London-based alcohol abuse coach Sandra Parker (pictured) runs Just The Tonic Coaching

Sandra moved from her hometown of Chicago to London during her twenties. She began a career in corporate management and had a great time. Most social events revolved around alcohol. 

Sandra began working out regularly when she was in her 40s and stopped eating processed foods.

Sandra was unable to control her drinking despite all her efforts. However, she eventually stopped drinking with the help podcasts and online coaching sessions. In 2018.  

In her youth, she tried to commit to Dry Jan. But would then plan an extravagant night on February 1st. She never made it through the month without drinking. 

“Dry January is for regular drinkers. You will be conflicted if someone suggests it. This is something I could relate to,” she stated. 

“Dry January” was my favorite form of drunken torture. It was invented by some killjoys to take any pleasure from an already sad month.

Millions drank FIFTY units in a single week during the pandemic.

According to new research, Lockdown has caused millions more Britons to put their health at stake by drinking as much as 50 units per week. 

Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ addictions faculty, Professor Julia Sinclair said that the increase in drinking was due to the fact that the sessions at home can go on for hours and last longer than those at a pub. 

To assess the problem of drinking, the research utilized a Score called Audit (developed by World Health Organisation). Audit takes into account a range of factors including how often people drink and how many units they consume in a session to determine if they fall into ‘increasing’ or ‘higher’ risk categories.

It found the number of Britons whose drinking puts them at risk jumped to eight million in October last year – a rise from six million in October 2019.

“And no one could survive the month of January without alcohol.

“I did not make it the whole month. I had always planned an extravagant night on February 1st to mark January’s end.

‘As a coach specialising in helping people drink less or not at all, this may seem odd but  I actually think Dry January is a terrible idea.’ 

Sandra thinks that if you completely cut out alcohol for a month, it makes the booze appear more impossible to attain. Therefore, you will want it more. 

Sandra said that it reinforced the belief in alcohol’s addictive properties and ignored the root causes of our desire to drink. 

“It also makes alcohol look like an evil forbidden potion, so most people wait till January to start drinking again. 

The University of Sussex found that 73% of Dry January participants drank less for six months, and 70% reported feeling more well.  

Sandra disagrees. Dry January does not automatically mean you will drink less. 

She cited research from Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in mental health and addiction at the University of York, who claims: ‘The millions of people who sign up to it are the millions of people who probably don’t have that great a problem with alcohol, so they find it relatively easy.’ 

Additionally, she cites Colin Drummond (Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at King’s College London) who stated: “There has been remarkable little proper valuation for campaigns like Dry January” and that such initiatives can be ‘blunt instrument’ that works best for people with lighter drinking habits. 

Sandra advises that long-term solutions for alcohol problems will require time, expert guidance, and that even restraining your urges for just a few months can’t be achieved. 

“This process isn’t easy and requires expert guidance. It requires you to open up and be vulnerable to see what’s holding you back.

“But this might be for you if you have tried and failed to manage alcohol for quite some time now and have given up on DryJanuary.