“Dry January” a Time to Ponder and Reset

Over the holidays, alcohol consumption tends to go up, so many people use this month, dubbed “Dry January,” to not drink or as a starting point for more long-term sobriety.

Here’s a challenge to friends, relatives and residents, can you go the rest of the month without beer, wine or an alcoholic drink?

The less alcohol people consume, means sleep improves, energy improves, and overall well-being can improve.

Various types of cancers, such as oral, pharynx and larynx, colorectal and esophageal, and liver and breast cancers are linked to alcohol consumption.

This occurs because the ethanol in alcohol breaks down to acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Alcohol can affect levels of hormones like estrogen and alcohol makes the body less able to break down and absorb vitamins A, C, D, E and folate, which help protect the body against cancer.

Before pointing fingers at youth as a abusers, seniors need to examine their own lives. The National Institute on Drug Abuse wrote that alcohol consumption was greater for those 50 and older than younger age groups.

According to a 2020 Department of Health and Human Services statistic, more than 800,000 seniors suffered from drug addiction and 2.7 million suffered from alcohol addiction.

According to the National Center for Health in 2019-2020 more than 5,000 older adults died of drug overdoses, but more than 11,600 succumbed to alcohol.

Additionally, with age, the body develops a lower tolerance for alcohol. That increases the effects of alcohol more rapidly, which puts seniors more at risk for falling, car crashes and other accidents.

Addressing alcohol abuse in millennials is a new memoir, “Drinking Games,” by Sarah Levy, 33. A Brown graduate, she appeared confident and happy and drank to get drunk to dull social anxiety.

She frequently blacked out but continued to function the next day . . .until she woke up next to her boss’s best friend and no memory of how she got there. Then “the voice in my head told me I was out of excuses. The desperation not to feel that way again, prompted me to seek help,” she said. She will speak on January 18 at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.



An animal sedative, xylazine, is being mixed with fentanyl and causing disastrous results. Xylazine causes wounds to erupt with a scaly dead tissue, which left untreated can result in amputation. The animal tranquilizer causes a blackout stupor that allows victims to be robbed or raped. The drug is not listed as an illegal substance and is not subject to strict monitoring.

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