STAP, the Netherlands; 7-01-2024

Dry January is a collective action to reduce alcohol consumption by not drinking alcohol at all during the month of January. In response to this, Damp January has now emerged. Is that the Trojan horse of the alcohol industry?

Damp January is not about completely stopping alcohol consumption for a month, but merely reducing it. In the Netherlands, Damp January was previously recommended by national magazine Libelle, among others. According to the magazine, Damp January would be easier to maintain.

Martijn Planken, campaign leader at IkPas, the organization behind Dry January in the Netherlands: “With Dry January it is very clear that you do not drink at all, with Damp January it is unclear what drinking less means. For some, drinking less is something completely different than for the other. Because it is a gray area, it is also easy to adjust a bit. I don’t see the point in it.”

For producers of alcoholic beverages, Damp January comes as a gift from heaven. “It is not without reason that Damp January is supported by alcohol producers,” says Bernard Basset, president of the association Addictions France, involved in the French Dry January campaigns. Damp January encourages people to adhere to French drinking guidelines, but don’t those recommendations apply all year round?

Professor Amine Benyamina, president of the French Federation for Addiction Care, makes no bones about it: “Damp January is the Trojan horse of the alcohol industry. In any case, we find the language elements of it: advising moderate consumption instead of quitting. , emphasizing individual rather than collective responsibility.” 

Link to original article (Dutch)


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