GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If your New Year’s resolution is to drink less in 2023, you’re not alone, a Corewell doctor says.
“We’ve seen some data and some trends that are suggesting there’s kind of a peaked or renewed interest in sobriety or trying the sober lifestyle,” said Dr. Colleen Lane with Corewell Health, formally Spectrum Health.
She said there’s been a “cultural shift” as more people explore ‘dry January’ or become ‘sober curious.’
“There’s really this opportunity to explore, ‘Should I be cutting back on substances or alcohol, is there an opportunity to improve my health?’ So there’s really this conversation that is happening,” Lane said.
Local restaurants and bars are embracing the shift, Lane said, so there’s more opportunities to be social without the pressure to drink.
“Going out to restaurants and bars now, there’s usually a page for mocktails, so you don’t feel like you’re being excluded from the group,” Lane said. “You can have a drink that’s interesting, interesting flavors, you’re not regulated to the tonic water with lime.”
Lane said there are multiple short-term and long-term health benefits to cutting back. In the short-term, you might see improved blood pressure, blood sugars, weight and memory. Long-term benefits can include improvements in your liver health and longevity.
“The health benefits of cutting back on alcohol are undeniable,” Lane said.
As you start out on cutting back or going sober, Lane said you should try to find a ‘sober buddy.’
“Look to friends and family see if someone in your social circle is interested in trying it cause it’s always a little bit easier to do it with a group and having a sober buddy,” Lane said.
If cutting alcohol out is particularly difficult, or if you experience physical effects like shaking, Lane said you should speak with your medical doctor, who will have tools that can help.