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Health benefits of a "Dry January" after the holidays

Cutting back on alcohol consumption after the holidays
Cutting back on alcohol consumption after the holidays 01:43

NEW YORK - Many people try to cut back on their alcohol consumption after the holidays. But "Dry January," as it's known, isn't always easy.

Alcohol use and abuse rose sharply during the pandemic. But a survey from the American Psychiatric Association found about a third (34 percent) of Americans say they're drinking less over the last three years.

"I think one of the biggest benefits of Dry January is it gives all of us a chance to re-examine our relationship with alcohol," said Dr. Jeremy Kidd with the American Psychiatric Association.

"I feel like I sleep a lot better when I don't drink, so I'm interested in trying," said Erin Latoff.

Cutting back can be good for everything from heart health, blood pressure, and liver function to improved sleep, mental clarity, and mood.

Kidd said many find it tough to go the whole month without drinking, but there are some things you can do to succeed.

"Setting short term achievable goals, so sometimes taking that week by week, rather than an entire month," he said.

He also suggested using the buddy system and talking to a therapist if you need some extra support.

If you want some help cutting back, the website "Rethinking Drinking" by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has some helpful resources.

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