10 Facts about alcohol that will help you keep your 'dry January' resolution
If you had a bit of a messy one while celebrating New Year's Eve last night, alcohol is probably one of the last things you want to be thinking about. And yet, we all know that you'll most likely be necking a bottle of merlot or downing one-too-many vodka shots before the next weekend is up.
However, you may want to savor that lingering hatred of the hard stuff just a little bit longer - because it might just help you make it through the whole month of January without taking a single sip of liquor. And even if you weren't planning on going sober for the start of 2018, there's a chance you'll consider it after reading these 10 facts...
1. It could kill you
Sorry to start off so strong, but if you're going to read anything on this list, it should be this. Alcohol abuse poses the greatest risk for death, illness and disability in people aged 15-49.
2. It's horrendously calorific
Made a New Year's resolution to lose a few pounds? Just quitting drinking could be enough to shift some of that stubborn weight that's been hanging around your gut. The average pint of beer contains just over 200 calories, while a regular glass of wine has about 120.
3. It will mess with your sleeping habits
While you might think you pass out quicker and get a deeper kip after you've had a drink, boozy beverages actually disrupt your sleep overall. If you do this too often, your mental and physical health will seriously suffer.
4. Just one binge could hurt you
Like many people reading this, you might be thinking, "yeah, but I only drink a few times a month, so this doesn't apply to me." Unfortunately, just one episode of binge drinking can cause bacteria to leak out of your gut and get into your bloodstream and - as you may have guessed - that's not exactly a desirable outcome.
5. It literally alters your brain
Have you ever been so drunk that you couldn't remember what you did? Well, it turns out that being drunk doesn't cause you to forget things - it actually prevents you from creating memories in the first place. So no matter how hard you try, you'll never be able to remember what you said to your best friend's girlfriend at that New Year's Eve party.
6. It can cause cancer
More than three in 10 instances of cancer could be prevented if people consumed less alcohol and tobacco, and instead lived a more active lifestyle. Again, it's a scary one - but it's true.
7. Alcohol poisoning is serious
Many people might think that alcohol poisoning just causes you to throw up a little, and that's it. In reality, it kills six people every single day in the USA, and can cause lasting damage in those who survive it.
8. It can destroy your mental health
Over the last ten years, the number of people aged between 15 and 59 who were in hospital because of alcohol-related mental or behavioral issues has increased by 94 per cent. For those aged between 60 and 77, it increased by 150 per cent.
9. It makes people violent
We often hear stories of people getting into drunken arguments, but the extent to which alcohol affects people's capacity for violence is probably beyond most of our expectations. Astoundingly, 70 per cent of violence during weekends and weekday nights is caused by drinking.
10. Being sober for just one month could change your life
If you quit alcohol for the whole of January, you could see an improvement in your liver function, a decrease in your blood sugar, and a reduced risk of liver disease and diabetes. You'll also sleep better, be at a lower risk for depression, and see an improvement in your brain function.
So now we've had basically a whole month of drinking and partying, why not give dry January a go?