Skip to main content

Recovering after treatment program, Brian Oake shares 'frightening experience' with alcohol

The popular radio host said he isn't looking for sympathy.

For two-plus decades Brian Oake has been one of the most familiar voices on Minnesota airwaves, and on Thursday he announced that he "literally almost scared to death" after an alcohol addiction resulted in a nearly month-long stay at an in-patient treatment program. 

Oake, best known for his many years as a radio host at The Current and Cities 97.1, announced on his podcast – The Brian Oake Show – that he spent 28 days receiving inpatient treatment after a frightening experience in early July. 

"Hello, everybody. I've been gone for the last month. Where was I? Detox and treatment. My drinking ways finally caught up with me, and in a big way," Oake said to open the episode. 

"I had a decades-long love affair with Irish whiskey. Still love it, or at least the thought of it. But it caught up with me. After a very frightening 12-hour episode in the emergency room, followed by four days of intensive detox, I decided the best thing for me to do would be to reevaluate my life. At the age of 52 I entered my very first inpatient treatment program."

Oake said his drinking became "around the clock" about eight months ago, and on the morning of July 10, as he was preparing to head towards Alexandria for a weekend gathering with friends, he decided to hold off on consuming any alcohol.

"That means, for the first time in a while my body went 12 hours without booze and my body went into withdrawals," he said, recalling that he experienced severe chills, profuse sweating, intense nausea, a throbbing headache and trembling hands. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

He wound up in the emergency room and went through a testing gauntlet before ultimately ending up in detox, the first three days of which he says he can't remember. 

"I was told that I was probably less than 12 hours away from a proper seizure," Oake said. 

He spent 28 days in treatment and is hopeful that he can stay alcohol-free going forward. 

"I feel more clear-headed than I have in a long time. My body feels so much better. It's time to see what's next." 

Oake started his podcast shortly after his exit from The Current's morning show in August 2019. The Star Tribune reported that Oake's departure came after he posted a lengthy rant on Facebook detailing how he and his daughter were kicked out of a Tenacious D concert at the Palace Theater, allegedly after his 20-year-old daughter took a sip of his drink.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 9.39.38 PM

Jordan Greenway runs into Darcy Kuemper, sparks fight

Kuemper got knocked out of the game, leading to the brawl.

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.


radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Minnesota public radio

Brian Oake leaves The Current's morning show

The surprise move was confirmed on Friday.

Zach Halverson

KFAN radio personality Zach Halverson says he is gay

Halverson explained why it was important for him to make the announcement.

radio station, microphone

Danny Cunningham out at SKOR North radio

Cunningham joined SKOR North just over a year ago.

Ben and Dana

Twin Cities morning show hosts, Ben and Dana, cut by Go 96.3

The Twin Cities radio market has been hit hard with layoffs in 2020.