Dry January’s lasting health impacts

As calendars flip over to 2023, New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. One that’s grown in popularity in recent years is Dry January, in which participants abstain from alcohol for 30 days. Several studies tout the range of potential health benefits, including weight loss and metabolic improvements and better sleep

Dr. Rotonya M. Carr, the division head of gastroenterology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, says a successful Dry January can favorably affect a person’s health farther into the year. 

“Making changes in January actually is associated with long-term reductions in alcohol consumption,” Carr said. “If we ask [participants] six months later [about] their alcohol-consumption habits, they have really committed to reducing alcohol for a long period of time.” 

Carr says the key to success might be finding a teammate, so you can support one another's effort. 

“II think it's probably a more successful strategy if you're doing it with someone,” she said. “You need a crew, as with all things.” 

Download broadcast-ready soundbites discussing Dry January strategies and health effects. These soundbites were previously published. 

UW Medicine