Sobriety And The New Year


               We’ve all either heard of or made some resolutions for the New Year in the past. Some people vow to partake in more rigorous exercise or more mindful diets. Some make a resolution to travel more. And then some still make the resolution to enter sobriety, to abandon drugs and alcohol once and for all.

                I was pondering on this exact scenario during on New Year’s Day. I was once jokingly told that the two most crowded places on New Year’s Day are the gym and an AA meeting. Both of these places are filled with people attempting to make a change. I was further reflecting on this as I know 3 people who have a New Year’s Eve sobriety date. These folks had hit their rock bottom on the last day of the calendar year, ready to start a new life for themselves.

                It allowed me to consider a few questions for myself; do people who vow to get sober on New Year’s do it for the novelty? And if so, are they possibly setting themselves up for failure?

It was then that I had to realize a distinct flaw I had noticed in my program. It had to do with that word “failure.”

I quickly had to remind myself that while people may be deciding to quit drinking at the start of the year, it might not be for reasons that we are primarily acquainted with when it comes to recovery from alcohol. In fact, as soon as we hear that someone has quit drinking, we often times find ourselves pigeonholing that person into being an alcoholic, thinking that they have made this decision due to negative consequences as a result of drinking. However, we have to remember that it is not always the case.

Several people reach the conclusion to discontinue their drug and alcohol use for other viable reasons:

  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption is Unhealthy: While doctors have agreed that a glass of wine in moderation can have some benefits to health, the same level of tannins or other healthy nutrients can actually be obtained from a piece of dark chocolate or even simple vegetables such as broccoli. Plus, alcohol consumption expedites the skin aging process of human beings and has other offsetting physical health effects such as cirrhosis of the liver, cardiovascular problems, and neurological effects.
  • Alcohol is Expensive: In a statistic provided by the Bureau of Labor, the average American spends 1% of their spending on alcohol per year. That’s about $1 of every $100. Their cost of alcohol has increased by 80 percent over the last 30 years. The conclusion is that Americans have a viable chance of saving close to $1,000 a year if they remain sober. That could cover flight costs for a family vacation. The benefits are clear when they speak to your wallet.
  • Alcohol Disrupts Authentic Peace of Mind: While a good amount of people enters into a 12-step based mindset and feel that alcohol and drugs have become a major problem in their life, several others tire quickly of the artificial “connections” one finds in a drinking culture. They strive to find some authentic connection and spiritual peace of mind that drinking no longer offers them.

In the end, there are several viable reasons to get sober and stay sober for this new years. Making a resolution to do so does not devalue the effort. If a healthy body and a healthy mind can become one within a person, that is something to celebrate. These benefits can assure you that you and yours will start this new year off right.


We at Oregon Trail Recovery wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and sober 2018.


-J. Dalton Williams