Dry January and Drug Rehab Marketing

Dry January, the practice of abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the year, is a widespread practice. It’s been estimated that one out of every five American has remained sober for that month. Or at least they did before the pandemic. This year, it’s hard to say what is going to happen. That’s why a dry January and drug rehab marketing may be in for a bumpier ride than usual this time around.

In the past, dry January was a force to be reckoned with. More than half of millennials, for example, would make serious efforts to curb their consumption of alcohol. At the same time, alcohol manufacturers have ironically been trying to be associated with dry January.

Some beer brands have been trying to push their non-alcoholic brews during dry January. Their goal is obviously two-fold. One, they want to sell more non-alcoholic beer and two, they want to be seen as being concerned about alcohol consumption and abuse. 

This last point is interesting, if not outright laughable. When sales of alcohol spiked 500% back in April due to the pandemic, these same alcohol manufacturers didn’t seem all that concerned the possibility of alcohol addiction. Instead, they concentrated on making sure as much alcohol as possible would be available to satisfy demand. Such actions make their concerns about alcohol abuse highly suspect.

Dry January: Suddenly Sober Isn’t Necessarily as Good as It Sounds

Clearly, dry January and drug rehab marketing will have much to deal with in the new normal. Several questions arise right away. Should addiction treatment centers put much faith in dry January actually being effective? Should it be seen as a stepping stone—or a conversation starter—about addiction treatment? Does it place too much emphasis on a brief period of forced sobriety? Does dry January obscure underlying causes of alcohol abuse, such as lack of impulse control? 

Also, does dry January simply promote the idea that every other month can and should be wet? How can dry January and drug rehab marketing coexist in a way that’s actually productive?

Dry January and Drug Rehab Marketing: Who Benefits for a Month Without Alcohol?

The benefits of a dry January would depend on people’s motivations. Do they approach dry January as a wake-up call to be more healthy? Or, does a brief period of sobriety simply a form of penance for someone with an alcohol problem?

Some people over time don’t appreciate alcohol’s effect on them. Others don’t like the social groups they wind up hanging out with when they drink. They may be looking for a social circle that isn’t interested solely in drinking. For these people, dry January can be a wake up call that points to a better life.

For people who worry a lot about their alcohol consumption are probably the ones who benefit the least from dry January. After all, if there’s a real problem going on, a brief break from alcohol isn’t going to solve the underlying problem. Any drug rehab marketing created to address the idea of dry January needs to get this point across loud and clear.

“Dry January and drug rehab marketing have a difficult relationship at best,” says Dan Gemp, CEO of Dreamscape Marketing. “Taking a quick break from alcohol isn’t a genuine or meaningful solution. If it was, no one would have a drinking problem. For people with addictive behaviors, abstaining for a month creates a false sense of control. It makes people think they have control over the problem. They don’t. Addiction treatment centers need to get this marketing message out to the public.”

Dry January and Drug Rehab Marketing: How Does It Affect Your Center?

Under the right conditions, dry January can alert some people to the idea that they have a problem. Perhaps they realized how hard it was to give up alcohol for a month and it scared them. These people will be looking for answers. It’s your job to provide them. Reach out through your content marketing efforts and use social media to provide the information they need to take the next step.

Dry January and drug rehab marketing can complement each other, if you take the right steps. As you strive to create a more effective drug rehab marketing plan, consider working with a digital marketing agency that understands the unique nature of addiction treatment and what it takes to reach your target audience. Dreamscape Marketing has worked with hundreds of detox and drug rehab centers for more than a decade. Call us today at 888.307.7304 and let’s discuss your digital marketing strategy.