Is avoiding alcohol just for ‘dry January’ enough?

DETROIT – Many people might be almost halfway through a “dry January” but is avoiding alcohol for just one month enough?

Alcohol is a toxin that livers can usually handle, but it takes its toll. Going ‘dry’ can decrease the liver inflammation caused by alcohol.

People who have a history of heavy-drinking often develop scarring of the liver, which cannot be reversed by going dry. A recent study found that more adults are engaging in binge-drinking now than ever before.

Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than five drinks in one sitting for men, and more than four drinks for women. If you think of alcohol as a drug you can envision that you should limit your dose, create a budget for alcohol use, the same way you would budget your finances. Look at your year ahead and consider how often you’re drinking and how much.

As far as a “dry January” goes, going for longer -- like three to six months -- without alcohol is better for seeing liver recovery. If you do have a liver disease you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all.

If you decide to go back to drinking after a dry spell, consider lowering the amount you drink.

Watch the video above for the full report.

About the Authors: