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As alcohol sales and abuse rise, addiction treatment centers urge you try a new trend

WLKY Louisville logo WLKY Louisville 1/14/2021

Since the start of the pandemic, alcohol sales have been on the rise which health officials say is leading to record numbers in alcohol abuse.

According to Landmark Recovery’s vice president of implementation, Patrick Kullman, the increase in patients at their center in Louisville could most likely be attributed to the widespread job loss. He says what people call the “functioning alcoholic” were given more time on their hands.

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“My night time drinkers that drank to go to bed, now became day drinkers,” said Kullman. “Once you make that transition from drinking before you go to bed to day drinking, to drinking throughout the entire day, it kind of opens up a whole new can of worms.”

For many of those people, the road to recovery was not so linear, and it may not be over. However, for those who are starting to realize or are being made aware that their drinking habits are a problem, there may be a solution. It comes in the way of a trend, or a challenge, known as Dry January. It’s a wager you make with yourself, seeing if you can go a whole month without drinking a sip of alcohol.

“People a lot of times view recovery as a marriage, or as a lifetime bond,” said Kullman. “But (through the trend) you have the ability to experiment with recovery. Try it. Try it for 30 days, try not drinking and see what your life is like.”

Jessica Goble also works with the recovery center and says she’s participated in Dry January with her husband for the past three years. She says they initially started to live a healthier lifestyle and after their first trial, they immediately noticed a difference.

“We usually feel better, we usually lose a couple pounds, and it's just a good way for us to kind of evaluate our drinking,” she said.

Kullman says the challenge has helped many of the center’s patients because it allows them to make adjustments on their own time.

“Giving them a platform, and a voice to be able to say, 'hey I set these goals for myself and I'm going to attempt this for my well-being' that right there is the name of the game,” he said.

Kullman says before participating in a “Dry January,” make sure you speak with your doctor about your drinking habits. He says quitting cold turkey could lead to severe health problems if you are considered a heavy drinker.

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