By Erin Hassanzadeh

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of people are raising a glass for Dry January — an effort to go all month without alcohol.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are among the top states to look up information on it. In fact, people in Madison, Wisconsin had Googled it the most in the country.

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So, what are the health impacts? WCCO spoke with Katherine Anschutz, program manager at Allina Health addiction services.

“Think of this as something that can go alongside your other health goals,” Anschutz said.

She says cutting alcohol can lower your blood pressure and insulin. Plus, it can also help your skin and your sleep — which in turn will help your immune system.

“It does give our body a chance to reset, and it also gives our mind some time to really look at like ‘Why was I doing this in the first place?’” Anschutz said.

You may think Dry January would be bad for business at local liquor stores, but not necessarily with growing interest in non- and low-alcoholic spirits years round. Dan and Kate Campo are the owners at South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis.

(credit: CBS)

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“It’s growing steadily,” Dan Campo said.

“And a lot more fun than giving a guest a Diet Coke [laughs]!” Kate Campo said.

The shop has everything from beer to gin, just without the alcohol.

“We’ve had women that are pregnant that aren’t drinking at the moment,” Dan Campo said. “The designated drivers, people who are just looking to experiment.”

“Cutting back on calories from alcohol, too,” Kate Campo said.

So if you are doing the whole Dry January thing, just know you’re not alone.

“When February comes around, you might find ‘I don’t need to drink,’” Anschutz said.

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If you are a heavy drinker, it may not be good to give up alcohol cold turkey. Talk with your doctor to see if you fall in that category before making any major changes.

Erin Hassanzadeh