Is TikTok's Damp Lifestyle Trend Just A Weak Dry January?

Let's face it, we've all been there — it's five o' clock on Friday and your boss put you through the wringer this week. Not to mention the countless Zoom meetings, email follow-ups, and slacking coworkers to really add insult to injury. But fear not, it's nothing a margarita (or three) can't fix! While drinking alcohol helps us ditch our inhibitions and forget our problems in exchange for a good time, it's not a healthy substance.

According to Healthline, drinking alcohol every day can lead to certain cancers, cardiovascular distress, and addiction. By limiting your alcohol intake, or most beneficially, abstaining from it altogether, you can increase your longevity and improve the overall quality of your life. That's why each year, thousands of people across the country take part in "dry January" — a month-long challenge to eliminate alcohol from your routine entirely.

In a survey conducted by Morning Consult, nearly 15% of American participants reported that they were observing dry January in 2023. But now that dry January has come to pass, have all those daring do-gooders returned to their bad habits? Based on a current TikTok trend, it looks like many people are changing their relationship with alcohol beyond the confines of dry January by leading a "damp lifestyle."

A damp lifestyle can improve the quality of your life

For those not living with alcoholism, quitting booze altogether may not be the restrictive practice you need to effectively change your relationship with alcohol. Instead, practicing moderation, also known as a damp lifestyle, is a great way to reduce the risk of disease linked to excess alcohol intake while still enjoying a boozy beverage on occasion.

Lucky for the sober-curious, TikTok has all the tips and tricks you need to make your new habits stick. From mocktails to low-ABV drink recommendations, people like @heather.maio who says reducing alcohol intake is "magic" and @maxieelise who shared an adorable recipe for Valentine's Day mocktails are making moderation cool. And yes, TikTok trends can be annoying and even sometimes dangerous (need we forget the tide pod challenge). But if social media buzz can help people rethink their relationship with a dangerous substance, then it's a "trend" worth joining.

While months like dry January and "sober October" ultimately promote abstinence, they're excellent tools to help build a consistently damp lifestyle. And the best part? You get to participate in the challenges with other sober-curious people pursuing a damp lifestyle. The moral of the story is, there's no weak way to limit your alcohol intake. In harm reduction we trust!

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism call the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357).