Experts in the Media

Sarah Rusbatch – Body + Soul

“Grey Area Drinking” Coach, Speaker and Co-Founder of Free Spirit Drink Co

Why we need to talk about the darker side of Dry July

Just because you can take a break from alcohol, doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem with it.

We often associate alcoholism with being unable to put down the drink. However, it turns out that yes, you can stop for a month and still have a problem when it comes to your drinking habits.

Dry July is well and truly underway, and while many Australians are bracing themselves for a month off alcohol, there’s a darker side to sobriety months that needs to be talked about.

For light drinkers, a month off is a great way to experience improved sleep, more energy, less anxiety, increased motivation, weight loss and mental clarity, as well as being a brilliant opportunity to experience what life without alcohol can feel like. But for others it can be more problematic.

For anyone teetering close to alcohol use disorder, a month off alcohol can leave them believing they don’t have a problem and that their drinking habits don’t need to change. This was me for years, every time I successfully took a break, I convinced myself I didn’t have a ‘problem’ and returned immediately to my undoubtedly problematic relationship with alcohol, with the false belief that my drinking was ‘normal’.