'Dry January' is just a lesson in self delusion
I don't really know what to make of the 'Dry January' craze that's doing the rounds at present.
So many people have jumped on the bandwagon and decided to give up the booze for the first month of the year, and if social media is anything to go by those getting involved are wavering between feeling suitably smug and whining about the lack of drink in the house while they count down the days to February 1.
I am in two minds as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Abstinence from overindulgence is never a bad thing when it comes to alcohol but are we drinking so much on a regular basis that we feel we should cut it out all together?
The Irish and drink is a story as old as time itself. We overindulge then swear 'never again'-until the next weekend that is.
While it is a positive move in terms of health that most of us embark on a journey to clean up our lifestyle after Christmas, be it through exercise or diet or both including giving up drinking what do we really think we will achieve by this token gesture?
We might lose a pound or two and save a few Euro but there generally won't be any meaningful change or long term healthy habits developed.
The vast majority of people who are raving about 'Dry January' will be knocking them back in the pub on the first weekend of February like never before.
We delude ourselves into thinking that because we can kick the habit for a month that we don't have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
There was uproar when a Dublin pub advertised cheap drink for 'Welfare Wednesday' but in reality is this any different than the creaking shelves of cheap alcohol in many retail outlets that we enjoy in the privacy of our own homes.
Were were more disgusted that the promotion existed or that it encouraged those on the dole to go drinking with their payments?
Embarking on a health kick is never a bad idea but 'Dry January' is the most unrealistic of ways.
How many of us will compensate for our teetotal Friday nights by ordering a take-away and drinking a glass of coke instead?
It was interesting to see that this year's winning Young Scientist entry centered around youth alcohol consumption. Perhaps these students can teach the rest of us a thing or two.