Did Dry January accomplish anything?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Drinking glasses.
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A growing number of Americans gave Dry January a try this year, abstaining from alcohol in the first month of the year. Participation in the annual sobriety ritual has risen steadily since the non-profit Alcohol Change UK started it 10 years ago. More than twice as many people tried to go the month without alcohol, or with very little, this year than did in 2020. By some estimates, 1 in 5 Americans of drinking age — or more — gave Dry January a try this year.

This year, the campaign came against a backdrop of a surge in drinking during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data indicates that November spending on alcoholic beverages was 3 percent higher than the previous year and 15 percent higher than the period right before the pandemic. Richard Piper, the CEO of Alcohol Change UK, told The Washington Post that the "objective of Dry January is not long-term sobriety — it's long-term control." Some people say they took the challenge hoping that cutting alcohol consumption would make them sleep and feel better. Others just wanted to see if they could do it. Did Dry January have any impact on Americans' relationship with alcohol?

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