LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Dry January has become a very popular new year’s tradition, and Sparrow doctors say this can have a big impact on your health.

It comes as new research shows deaths from alcohol-associated liver disease spiked during the first year of the pandemic in 2020 after rising steadily for years.

They also say they’ve seen a rise in liver disease in young people, especially young women.

On Friday, officials at Sparrow Hospital talked about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how abstinence can have beneficial effects on your health.

“Abstaining from alcohol is always a good thing. Recently we are learning that no matter how much you drink or how little you drink it does have a detrimental effect on your well-being. Whether it is the brain, the liver the heart, alcohol is a toxic agent and it hurts no matter what,” said Iftiker Ahmad, a gastroenterologist at Sparrow.

Dry January began in 2012 as a public health initiative from Alcohol Change UK, a British charity.

Now, millions take part in this health challenge every year.