One would have thought that the closure of bars in 2020 would help the French to reduce their alcohol consumption. In reality, it is quite the opposite. Confined (and often, depressed) alcohol appeared to be a loophole for many people.

According to an international survey conducted by the Global Drug Survey in spring 2020: “46% of French respondents say they have increased their frequency of alcohol consumption during the Covid-19 crisis and confinement”.

The Dry January is therefore timely! And in order not to see this challenge as yet another restriction, the Prof. Amine Benyamina, President of the French Addictology Federation, gives you some advice:

Why is the Dry January a good idea, especially this year?

The coronavirus has created a new hierarchy of risks, it has relegated all other health problems to the background. We were only talking about this virus, while other problems are still relevant.

In the case of alcohol, people were like “yes I drink a little more at home, but hey it gets worse“, or, “at least it’s not the Covid”. This is why the January challenge can help to find a certain hierarchy, and therefore, to remind the real dangers of alcohol.

How not to experience this challenge as one more restriction?

This challenge doesn’t mean “zero alcohol” all month, or at least no one will judge you if you have a drink! The idea is to see the Dry January as a way to self-assess, to see your alcohol consumption.

Some people take the challenge without a problem when others find that they really can’t. In this case, the challenge helps to get to know yourself better. Each person can set a different goal, whether it’s reducing quantities or reducing frequencies.

What advice to keep in the long term?

To make sense of this month of self-assessment, it is recommended to keep a logbook. We can note what we feel, but also the benefits that we see on his body (and in his head).

It is also advisable to talk about it with others. Most often people respect this choice, or even better, offer to participate with you. In addition to loved ones, we can discuss on social networks or read testimonials in the press etc … The idea is not to feel alone, and to keep the good-natured spirit of the challenge!

To know more :

Our dossier: Alcohol: solutions against addiction

French Federation of Addictology

Al and Coline: The January Challenge