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After the holidays, some people might participate in "Dry January." What are the benefits?

The Volstead in Manayunk provides Philly residents a space to participate in "Dry January"
The Volstead in Manayunk provides Philly residents a space to participate in "Dry January" 02:04

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Many people try and cut back on alcohol after the holidays, but sometimes Dry January can turn into a permanent lifestyle change.

After a month of excess, many Americans consider going cold turkey for the month of January – cutting out alcohol for 31 days.

"People definitely have clearer minds, feel more focused, have more energy," Tricia Vasinda said. 

Vasinda sees people looking to cut down on drinking all year round. She's the Director of Operations at The Volstead in Manayunk, a bar on Main Street that doesn't serve any alcohol.

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"I think it started with the pandemic. I think people really started to examine their relationship with alcohol," Vasinda said.

The Volstead is part of the Unity Recovery organization, a Philly-based group that aims to find unique approaches for those with mental health or substance use disorders.

Alcohol use and abuse rose sharply during the pandemic but a survey from the American Psychiatric Association found about a third of Americans said they're drinking less over the last three years.

The Volstead is the city's only sober bar and they see a lot of new faces in the month of January. 

"Having a space to come to that doesn't have the alcohol is novel and exciting and maybe something that wouldn't have come to any other time," Vasinda said.

Vasinda has seen people never go back to alcohol after a Dry January but more often, she sees people who don't end up seeing it through.

"However long you're doing it, I think it's great and worthwhile. I don't think there's any shame not finishing out Dry January," Vasinda said.

Dr. Jeremy Kidd suggests trying out Dry January with a friend. 

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

Small steps that could lead to big life changes. 

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