Alcohol was the seventh leading cause of loss of healthy life years worldwide in 2016 and also the leading cause of hospitalization in France. © adobe stock
In the aftermath of the end-of-year celebrations, it’s time for good resolutions. Some will even embark on “Dry January” or the January non-alcoholic challenge (“Sober January”) to recover from the excesses of the past few days. The goal: to take a break from drinking and think about your relationship with alcohol. Especially since thealcohol consumption is an important risk factor for health: it is directly or indirectly involved in the onset of about sixty diseases.
In 2021, Inserm published a collective expert opinion to draw up an inventory of alcohol-related harm and formulate research and action paths aimed at reducing them. Scientists were particularly interested in the benefits of ‘no drinking’ periods and more specifically the annual Dry January awareness campaign which originated in the UK.
The choice of January seems ideal: any excesses during the holidays and the desire to “detox” that follows, associated with good resolutions for the new year, are all arguments that motivate the participants to take up the challenge. .
According to the Inserm experts, the cessation of alcohol consumption for a month, in addition to being associated with changes in consumption observable up to 6 months after the challenge, would also improve the physiological, cognitive, well-being and quality of life . Inserm’s collective expertise has thus positioned itself in favor of launching campaigns to stop consumption, such as the “Dry January” operation, the benefits (and low cost) of which have been demonstrated.
Inserm’s collective skills:
This document presents the summary and recommendations resulting from the work of the group of experts convened by Inserm as part of the expert witness procedure to respond to the request from Mildeca and the Ministry of Health regarding the reduction of harm connected to alcohol consumption, prevention and support strategies.
This work is mainly based on data from the scientific literature available during the first half of 2020. Nearly 3,600 papers were collected by querying various databases (PubMed, Web of sciences, Scopus, socINDEX, Cairn, Pascal, Francis, Econbizz, JSTOR , OpenEdition Journals, Isidore, Persée).