A survey from 2023 found that close to 30% of the Norwegian population expressed interest in participating in Dry January.

Norwegians are increasingly paying attention to going alcohol-free because of alcohol’s negative health effects. The Dry January initiative’s popularity is reflected in the increasing number of people going alcohol-free during the first month of the year. According to a survey, one in every four people have considered doing Dry January. Ragnhild Kaski, Secretary General of Av-og-til, expressed their pleasure in this increasing interest.

We are pleased to see that so many have considered taking a month’s break from alcohol. A dry January has many positive effects. It provides positive health effects and a good opportunity for reflection on one’s own alcohol habits.”

Ragnhild Kaski, Secretary General, Av-og-til

Research and consulting firm Ipsos conducted the survey on behalf of Av-og-til. They found that 27% of Norwegians have already considered participating in Dry January in 2023. This means that one in four Norwegians have considered going sober for at least one month. The survey took place between January and March, 2023. For the survey Ipsos interviewed 2,668 people as a nationwide representative sample.

Norwegians are interested in doing Dry January
27% of Norwegians have already considered participating in Dry January in 2023.

Benefits of going alcohol-free and tips to do so

Doctor and researcher Torgeir Gilje also points out some of the benefits related to just a month of abstinence of alcohol.

It is a good way to become aware of how alcohol affects the body and psyche. In addition, a break from alcohol can have several positive consequences, such as better sleep quality, weight loss, and improved fitness. If one adopts better habits after such a month, it can also contribute to better health and reduced risk of many diseases.”

Dr. Torgeir Gilje Lid, alcohol researcher, Regional Competence Center for Substance Abuse Research in Health West

Av-og-til offers several tips for completing Dry January successfully.

  1. Preparation! The better prepared a person is, and the more carefully they have thought through various situations in advance, the easier going alcohol-free becomes. It helps people to prepare for what to do and say in situations where alcohol is served.
  2. Create supportive environments. When people tell their family and friends about their dry January, and team up with someone who also wants to take the challenge, they are more successful and have more fun.
  3. Planning activities. There are many fun activities free from alcohol. For example a good ski trip, cooking a new dish or playing board games.
  4. Stay with it. If a person slips a little and consumes alcohol during their attempt at Dry January, there’s no reason to give up the whole project. Every glass of alcohol that a person can reduce is good for the body.
  5. Get an overview of the alcohol intake, for example at www.drikkestatus.no, for a little extra motivation.

What research says about Dry January

Dry January is both well-researched and fact-checked. In the winter of 2023, Faktisk.no investigated the claim that an alcohol-free period reduced alcohol intake even after the “white”dry” period was over.

The conclusion was that studies have shown that people who participated in Dry January consumed less alcohol even six months later. Still, there are few studies that show the effect of going alcohol-free for a month in the long term.

One study showed that people who did not consume alcohol for a month felt better both physically and mentally, and that six months later they consumed less alcohol and had greater control over their alcohol intake in general.

Dry January is good for people’s health.

If you [consume] less alcohol or nothing for a whole month, you will probably [consume] less alcohol for the rest of the year. It is probably a conscious reaction.

Asle Enger, specialist in drug and addiction medicine, as per verkächt.no

For further reading

Source Website: Av-og-til