If your relationship with alcohol is starting to bother you, then a no-alcohol flashmob might seem like a good idea - especially after a series of New Year holidays and long vacations. This is how “Nepyanvar” appeared - a flash mob with the refusal of alcohol until the end of January. Why it won't work, alcohol addiction specialist explains.
Many of us started January determined to stop drinking for a month. After the intemperance of the New Year holidays, giving up alcohol can really bring considerable benefits. But for the state of mind, the Dry Janyary flash mob is rather harmful, says Sandra Parker, an alcohol addiction coach, in an interview with the Daily Mail. First, January is a tricky month, and stress sometimes pushes us to a familiar consolation: a glass of wine. You have to drink it secretly from the world and from yourself, and the feeling of a broken vow does not have the best effect on self-esteem and self-confidence.
Second, giving up alcohol for a month does not help reduce alcohol consumption in the long run. “The only way to control your drinking long-term is to study the reasons why you drink. Most drink alcohol instead of going to a psychologist to avoid unpleasant emotions. Working with an expert helps you find the root of the problem - and now you do not need alcohol or prohibition. You can drink or refuse. This is the magical moment when alcohol is no longer a temptation.”
Sandra herself struggled with excessive drinking. When she moved to London, she worked too hard and rested too hard, and most of her parties revolved around drinking. At the age of 40, she decided to take care of her he alth and more than once tried to take part in the Nepyanvar flash mob, but every time she lived in anticipation of a grand party that would be thrown on February 1. And not once did she manage to last until the end of the month without taking a drop in her mouth.
"When I was drinking, I thought this flash mob was some kind of painful torture concocted by some killer to deprive this already terrible month of the last pleasure."
No one in their right mind can go a month without alcohol, Sandra thought. Now she understands that a complete refusal to drink for a month makes her even more unattainable, and therefore more desirable. This flash mob reinforces the belief that you need superhuman willpower to resist alcohol and completely ignores the real reasons that drive us to drink.
A study conducted by the Sussex Institute showed that 70% of those who went through "Nepyanvar" reduced their alcohol consumption and improved their well-being after six months. But Sandra, relying on the authority of a teacher at the University of York, argues: most likely, people who did not have serious problems with alcohol or addiction get into the statistics, which is why they got such a noticeable result. What will happen to the body if you don’t drink for a month, we told here.
Heavy drinkers, she says, need much more time and - preferably - the help of a specialist. Just resisting the craving for a month is not enough to solve the problem in the long run. “If you have been trying for a long time and could not control your alcohol consumption on your own, then contacting a specialist may be a good solution. But this will require admitting that you have a drinking problem and being willing to open up to find the real reason that is keeping you stuck.”