For many people, reducing alcohol intake is at the top of the list of goals for the new year. But “Dry January,” or abstaining from alcohol for an entire month, can be challenging. Northern Virginia adult and family medicine physician Jason Singh, MD, spoke with WJLA offering tips for people looking to cut back on drinking in January.
Dr. Singh noted that alcohol can have negative impacts on the body including heart, liver and pancreas issues; weakened immune system and even depression and anxiety. But even small reductions in alcohol can have a positive impact on the body, he explained.
“Some folks may have a hard time with Dry January. I have patients that are having a hard time cold turkey-ing it. So, we have something called ‘Damp January’ which is a modified version where you set your own rules, your own boundaries and find a good middle ground,” Dr. Singh said.
Dr. Singh suggested that Dry January can involve the entire family, not just those who are over 21 years old.
“A good strategy is to come up with a family fitness program. That’s what a lot of folks tend to lean towards. But also coming up with alternatives to alcohol: juices, teas, coffees, smoothies,” Dr. Singh said. “I love smoothies, my family loves making smoothies. My kids that are 10, 7 and 5 love making smoothies with me.”