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Intermittent Abstinence: Dry January or Something Else?


IamMatt
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I have been thinking about intermittent abstinence methods and of course, Dry January is the most common one.   All the articles/studies I have seen about "stopping for a while" focus on a month of abstinence as their model.  I wonder about other abstinence periods,  but I don't think there is any literature about them.  For example:

 

1 month/year (Dry January) provides 31 consecutive dry days in a year and requires stopping drinking only once, on Jan 1 (if willpower is a factor).  What if  you decided instead to not drink on Mondays?  That would provide 52 dry days (not consecutive) and you would only have to abstain for a day rather than a month, but would require you to stop drinking 52 times.  Or abstaining for the first week of each month would provide 84 dry days--with 7 consecutive days each time--and only require you to stop 12 times.

 

Finally, what if you decide if you drank yesterday, you won't drink today (abstain every other day)?  That would provide 182 dry days a year, and require you to stop drinking 182 times.  It might also fit well with the AA mantra of "One Day at a  Time," where one might say it's easy to abstain for one day ("Just for today...").

 

Sadly, I don't think there is any research comparing the health benefits of different periods.  Intuitively it feels like the body would do more healing with 31 consecutive dry days than 31 days spaced out throughout the year but I don't know if 52 or 84 or 182 dry days spread out through the year would provide more or less health benefits.

 

I did read a study that showed that mice drink more after a period of abstinence than they did before it.  Another article said that drinkers tend to moderate their drinking after a period of abstinence.  My guess is that I would drink less immediately after a month off, but gradually increase my drinking over the next 11 months unless I was very mindful.

 

Anybody?

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I think marital status would be a contibuting factor😂

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Well, at least I better be sure the wife and I are drinking and abstaining on the same days!

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A couple years back I tried “weekends only”.

What I found was that i was then trying to cram a weeks worth of drinking into 2 days and it wasn’t working out.
Not that I have one every day, but I don’t restrict myself to certain days now.

If I feel like it on a night, fine.

if not, that’s fine too.  No pressure on myself either way.

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@IamMatt I believe many of us contemplate how to enjoy whiskey without overindulging.  I know I do.  Similar to @0895, I found limiting myself to only weekends gave me the false sense that I could over consume on weekends which, according to literature, can be more harmful since it results in binge drinking.  I know I would not be successful with a January dry month.  Similar to weight dieting, I believe deprivation leads to a lack of success.  If I believe I have been hitting it (alcohol) a little to hard, I work to slow down consumption.  It may be in the form of a dry week, several dry days in a row, or a daily limit of a single pour.  

 

I do believe that if you want to perform a long-term cleanse, you need a more extended period of abstinence (e.g., 2 to 4 weeks) and even detox with a cleansing tea.  I know this sounds strange in a bourbon forum but we all want to enjoy this hobby and to share.

 

I try to do a weeklong abstinence 3 to 4 times each year.  

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I want to know what glassware company makes a Glencairn small enough for Stuart Little. How would you even wash something like that?

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5 minutes ago, Thomm said:

I want to know what glassware company makes a Glencairn small enough for Stuart Little. How would you even wash something like that?

I believe he got it from the Little Whiskey Shoppe.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Almost done with a month off. Craving some KC9 for some reason. 

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16 minutes ago, FasterHorses said:

Almost done with a month off. Craving some KC9 for some reason. 

 

How much longer to go?

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10/5. I shouldve scheduled my physical for 10/4😅

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I'm a weekend warrior and rarely imbibe during the week, unless it's a special occasion, or on vacation.

 

When I do drink, I don't overindulge to "make up" for it.   That kind of defeats the purpose, health-wise, don't you think? 😉

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I just ascribe to "In all things moderation"

When you start talking about extended periods of abstinence then you are implying that there is a negative issue (health, whether physical or emotional) associated with that activity.

Alcohol abuse is indeed a problem, but I don't feel like that is what is being discussed here. There are studies across the broad spectrum of alcohol consumption. It's not to hard to find one that suits your usage pattern as long as it is in moderation. If you are like me I tend to want what I CAN'T have. In other words the desire of the forbidden fruit. 

I will sometimes go a week or two without a dram. My Wife cannot drink due to medication, so I don't drink at home on a regular basis. I do not notice any difference after not drinking for an extended period versus when I drink regularly. At the age of 67, I have eliminated most vices. I can see no reason to give up good whiskey. 

equate it to a food issue. How many genuinely happy vegans have you met in your life?

 

don't let the fun police wreck your life

 

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I go through phases. Sometimes I drink, and sometimes I don’t. 🤔 Seriously though……. There are times I really want a pour or three, and I do so. Other times I’m just kinda “blah”, and abstain. More often than not, when I get “blah”, I won’t have a pour for a few days. This is probably due to palate overload/fatigue/burnout. Once in a while I won’t have a pour cause’ I can’t choose a pour from the bottles I have open, and I just say screw it. 🫤

 

Biba! Joe

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