(Columbus, Ohio USA)
Is it dangerous or are there health risks to quit drinking cold turkey if you have been weekend binge drinking for over 20 years?
Our advice to anyone who wishes to quit drinking is to first seek professional advice. In other words, go to your physician/doctor and tell them about your drinking history and then he/she will be able to provide you with further advice and help. What ever you do, do not just stop drinking on your own. Alcohol withdrawals can be fatal. For more on this topic, visit our page on Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms
If a person has been drinking only at weekends then it is unlikely that they have a physical addiction to alcohol, even so they must see a medial professional prior to stopping.
It is important to keep in mind that the physical addiction to alcohol is only one aspect of the giving up process. Physical withdrawal symptoms will usually abate after three to five days. It is the psychological addiction that is far harder to beat. Some, such as those in Alcoholics Anonymous, believe that the psychological addiction never goes away – once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. In other words alcohol dependents cannot just give up drinking and be done with it, but have to spend their entire lives trying to control their addiction by attending support groups and the like.
Anyway, back to your question, make an appointment with you doctor and seek their advice.
We wish you the best of luck.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.