It’s January, the first month of the year. The longest night of the year is behind us and the days are very gradually beginning to get longer. Many people think about making new beginnings or changes in January. It’s a great time to make changes because so many people are making resolutions that would be beneficial to them or to stop doing something harmful. If you have thoughts about not drinking anymore, January is a great time to quit. If you have been sober but have relapsed, January is the perfect time to recommit to sobriety.
If you decide to quit drinking for good during January, you will have lots of company. January is traditionally a time for new beginnings, for people to evaluate what’s working in their lives and what isn’t working. For many people, what isn’t working is drinking alcohol, so they decide to quit permanently. Other people take a month-long break from alcohol, participating in what’s known as “Dry January.” Dry January began in 2013 in the United Kingdom as part of a campaign to raise money for alcohol abuse and treatment and has since blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon. While participating in Dry January is not in and of itself a treatment for alcohol use disorder, it can be easier to give up drinking because lots of other people won’t be drinking either. Alcohol consumption is very prevalent in our society and Dry January has helped normalize sobriety and remove some of the stigma associated with not drinking.
For some people who have previously given up alcohol and then begun to drink again, January can serve as an impetus for them to recommit to sobriety and either seek treatment again or start attending a support group. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of people who have stopped drinking alcohol or using drugs end up relapsing. Relapsing after an attempt to stop drinking or using drugs is not a failure, but because of the “chronic nature of addiction…[that] can be part of the process…Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.” What relapse does mean is that it is time to consider treatment again and going back to a support group if you have stopped.
Deciding to quit drinking is a huge first step on your path. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your decision.
You have decided to quit drinking–congratulations! The benefits of not drinking are numerous, lots of people will join you on your journey, and January is a wonderful time to start something new that will benefit you. January is a great time to quit drinking, but the best time to stop drinking is whenever you realize that there is a problem.
If you have decided that it is time to give up alcohol–whether it’s January or July– we at Enlightened Solutions would be honored to help you on your journey of recovery. Treatment begins with a thorough assessment of your unique situation, enabling us to design an individualized plan for you. The program we offer is for the whole person, not just his or her addiction. We are licensed to treat co-occurring disorders that often accompany addiction, including major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. Our program is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and combines traditional talk therapy with a variety of holistic treatment modalities. Alternative therapies that we offer include family constellation therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, yoga, meditation, sound healing, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, and horticultural therapy. We are located in New Jersey, near the southern shore. For help in overcoming your addiction, please call us at (833) 801-5483.
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