Taking on an alcohol addiction in the New Year

Know Your Local Resources
The effort to cut back is known as Dry January, but some drinkers need a lot more than a month to start recovery.
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 4:45 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in Wisconsin.

In the New Year, some people may be ready for an alcohol detox and take part in what’s called ‘Dry January,’ which means not consuming alcohol during the month.

Unfortunately, if someone has a real drinking problem or an addiction to drinking, not drinking for a month is not enough.

“Overall, I think dry January is a great thing, it gives your body a chance to reset after holidays. We’re in the state of Wisconsin, which is a pretty heavy drinking society and culture, so I think the idea behind dry January is good to get to reset,” explained Jason Latva, the Executive Director with the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay. “The problem with addiction, there’s a powerlessness so people can’t stop. I’ve been done for 12 years now, but if I start drinking again, that doesn’t mean I’m not an alcoholic anymore because I stopped for 12 years. The patterns, the behaviors are all going to reset, as soon as I pick that bottle up again,”

The next steps for someone with a drinking problem is to get help. There are several resources in the Green Bay and Fox Valley area with therapy, meetings and counseling.

“It’s incredibly important to know where the resources are and how to get a hold of them. It’s scary to even think about the fact, “Do I need treatment and then to try and find where does one even go for this? What’s it like, What do you do? The whole experience even going through that is kind of scary because it’s an unknown,” said Latva.

The Jackie Nitschke Center is one of those resources that can help people experiencing an addiction. Latva says they’re a resource anyone can reach out to, to ask questions about help. Anyone can email them, message them on social media or give them a call at (920) 435-2093. Other resources in the area include: Green Bay Integrated Treatment Center, The Bridge of Green Bay, Fox Valley AA and The 218 Club.