University of Sussex
DE_VISSER_Alcohol_and_Alcoholism_MAR_2020_author_copy.pdf (513.36 kB)

Short- and Longer-Term Benefits of Temporary Alcohol Abstinence During ‘Dry January’ Are Not Also Observed Among Adult Drinkers in the General Population: Prospective Cohort Study

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posted on 2023-06-07, 06:52 authored by Richard De VisserRichard De Visser, Richard Piper
Aims The alcohol abstinence challenge ‘Dry January’ continues to grow, but there is a lack of knowledge of how Dry January participants compare to the general population. There is also a need to determine whether benefits experienced by Dry January participants are unique to that group or are also observed among other people. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study using online questionnaires in early January, February and August 2019. We compared 1192 Dry January participants and 1549 adult drinkers who did not attempt to abstain from alcohol. Key outcomes were self-rated physical health, psychological well-being (Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale), control over drinking (Drink Refusal Self-Efficacy Scale (DRSE)) and alcohol intake (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test–Consumption (AUDIT-C) subscale). Baseline differences in demographic and alcohol consumption variables were included as covariates in between-group analyses. Results Dry January participants had higher SES, poorer well-being, higher AUDIT-C scores and less control over their drinking than the general population. Beneficial changes in health, WEMWBS, DRSE and AUDIT-C observed among people completing Dry January were not observed among other adult drinkers. Conclusions Dry January appears to attract people who are heavier drinkers than the general population and who are more concerned about their alcohol intake. Completion of Dry January is associated with short- and longer-term benefits to well-being that are not observed in the general population.


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Alcohol and Alcoholism




Oxford University Press

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