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Here's how you can participate in dry January in central Indiana

Drinking alcohol increases longevity more than exercise, according to study
Posted at 7:54 AM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 07:54:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — What’s your New Year’s resolution?

If it’s to cut back on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking, you’re not alone.

People across the country are pledging to do just that this month — as a part of ‘dry January.’

Experts say quitting or even just limiting drinking can be difficult because:

  1. It’s legal
  2. It’s easily available

It can be hard to avoid alcohol when many social settings, whether it be with coworkers, family or friends, revolve around drinking.
“Why do we drink? Everybody has reasons for drinking. As humans, all of us have pains of the past, stresses of the present, worries about the future. Those are all reasons why we drink," Dr. Gretchen Johnson said.

Dr. Johnson is a physician at Community Fairbanks Recovery Center in Indianapolis.

She works firsthand with Hoosiers who are trying to come off and stay off of addictive substances like alcohol and opioids.

“When does it become a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, that’s when you’ve already experienced harmful consequences from your use, but you’re continuing anyway," she said.

According to the CDC, moderate drinking is 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

But Dr. Johnson says we often drink much more than that.

“There’s many ways to make that easier for yourself. Get rid of all the alcohol in your home and plan some fun social activities that are sober in nature. Be in positive community with other folks that aren’t drinking," Johnson said.

That could look like a reading club, an exercise group, or whatever suits your interests.

The important thing is not to isolate yourself.

“Isolation typically leads to drinking more and is a breeding ground for addiction, so we recommend any way to get face to face with other humans," Dr. Johnson said.

One of the places folks can find community is at Recovery Cafe Indy.

“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. This place is all about love and connection and no judgment," Kevin Espirito said.

Espirito works with We Bloom to create a safe, drug and alcohol-free space right here in Central Indiana.

He estimates that around 100 people filter in and out of their Delaware Street location on any given day.

“We believe in harm reduction. If somebody wants to come in and explore what it’s like to reduce use, fantastic. If that’s where they’re at, we’re gonna meet folks where they are, who they are when they come through the door," Espirito said.

Anyone is welcome to visit Recovery Cafe as a guest for the day.

The only stipulation is that they must be drug and alcohol-free for 24 hours prior to entering.

You can check them out Wednesday through Friday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

And Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“When you come in here, we know your name. We know who you are. We know your strength. We know your weaknesses. We try to help you grow in this space," Director of Recovery Cafe Catalyst Programs Tiffany Richardson said.

Again —here are tips from for starting your sober journey:

  • Remove all the alcohol from your home
  • Avoid spaces where alcohol is present such as bars or clubs
  • Plan fun, social activities that are sober in nature
  • Surround yourself with people who also aren’t drinking
  • Avoid isolation

If you'd like to give dry January or just an alcohol-free lifestyle a try, there are local businesses where you can go.
WRTV previously reported on Central Indiana's first sober bar called Memento Zero Proof Lounge -- located in Fishers.

Mixed drinks at the bar use zero-proof alcohol brands.