Alcohol and Seizures - Rehab Guide

Alcohol and Seizures

Alcohol and Seizures

Alcohol-Related Seizures

There’s a strong connection between alcoholism and seizures, and this is due to the way alcohol impacts the brain and central nervous system.

Although most people don’t have to worry about them, seizures along with hallucinations and tremors are seen in people withdrawing from high consumption of alcohol.

That said, we’ll look at the factors that go into a moment where epilepsy and alcohol can cross paths. Hopefully, the information below will help you appreciate the risks of heavy drinking.

Let’s get started.

What are Seizures?

The first thing we should note is that there is a healthy range of drinking that anyone can participate in.

If you’re not prone to addiction and are consuming alcohol in moderation, you probably don’t have to worry about seizures. A glass or two of alcohol each night might indicate some leaning toward addiction, but it’s not something that will put your health in jeopardy for a long time.

Seizures are more related to alcohol withdrawal or periods of binge drinking. The effects come from the impact that alcohol can have on your central nervous system once there’s enough of it in your blood to start shutting down various functions.

Can Alcohol Trigger a Seizure

A lot of the effects on your central nervous system that alcohol produces are ones that we’re all familiar with. For example, when someone gets dizzy or walks in an unusual pattern. This happens when your CNS can’t balance you properly, and you face a challenging walk.

How does that work, though?

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it slows down the system’s ability to function at a normal rate. “Depressant” indicates that the system is inhibited from functioning at its normal speed.

On a small level, this means that the neurons monitoring our bodily functions aren’t firing together as quickly. Their communication is slowed, leading to the disorganization of what we’re used to experiencing.

The central nervous system is also the foundation for other systems in the body. For example, the peripheral nervous system is closely connected to the central nervous system, so the downfall of one leads to the collapse of the other.

When your blood alcohol level reaches a certain point, you’ll start experiencing this change in various ways. Your speech slurs, your eyesight gets blurry, you can respond physically, you start to forget, and your decision-making is hampered.

How Do Withdrawals Work?

Withdrawals occur when you go through a period of drinking and then stop without weaning.

If you drink daily, you will adjust the number of chemicals and hormones you produce. The body does this as a way to keep your internal environment in balance. That’s why tolerance develops. It’s also why the effects of alcohol start to become more tolerable over time, whether you’re drunk or dealing with a hangover. In most cases, especially with a depressant such as alcohol, you produce more chemicals to compensate for the abuse.

When you stop drinking, your body is flooded with more neurochemicals than it needs, and you experience the effect of those uninhibited substances. The results tend to be ones that you would be experiencing if you were overstimulated.

Those effects are complemented by the fact that you are working through and eliminating many toxins.

You could experience anxiety, nausea, cold sweats, vomiting, and more. The more serious effects are heart attack, stroke, or seizures. These effects can lead to death.

Are Drunken Seizures Common?

Note that seizures while you are drunk are rare. You might be at a higher risk for alcoholic seizures if you’re diagnosed with epilepsy or are prone to seizures anyway.

For someone without those conditions, the risk of seizure comes when you approach a very high blood alcohol level. Your blood alcohol content compounds itself if you drink over short periods of time.

We’re taught that one drink per hour leads to a small increase in BAC. That’s true if you have one drink during that hour. It’s also thought that our bodies work through drinking each hour, which is true if you drink one.

When you binge drink or drink heavily over a short amount of time, you don’t have time to work through the alcohol you’re putting into it. So, if you have five or six drinks in a period of one hour, you might be in a position where you’re at risk for a seizure or death.

When you reach a BAC of .30 or higher, your central nervous system can’t take care of you. These are the times when you might experience a seizure or other dangerous side effects.

So, while you’re not likely to experience a seizure while you’re drinking, it’s possible if you drink too much.

The Reality of An Alcohol Withdrawal Seizure

Again, this one depends on the level of alcohol you’ve been taking.

It also depends on how well-prepared you are for your detox. If you’re drinking a lot and plan to quit, it’s smart to get in touch with a detox or rehabilitation centre.

Rehabilitation isn’t just for people who are battling addiction. It’s for anyone experiencing a substance abuse issue and is ready to make a life change. There are different levels of treatment for every individual, and plans can be made for you.

That said, know that it’s much safer to go through withdrawals under the supervision of professionals. These are people who can monitor your symptoms and intervene with medication if you ever start to reach the point of having a seizure.

Alcohol withdrawals aren’t something that you can “push through.” Culture would have us believe that toughing things out is the most virtuous and strongest way to do things. In reality, the smart thing to do is use the tools at your disposal and safely manage yourself.

People die from alcohol withdrawals. If you’ve been drinking too much for a long time, your system is operating in a way far different from the way it otherwise would. You’ll experience intense withdrawal symptoms as you work through the toxins and adjust to the new reality.

Those symptoms of alcohol seizures could be too much for you to handle. So, even if you have the mental fortitude to push through an experience that could kill you. When a seizure occurs, you will need professionals to help you through it. No matter who you are, a seizure renders you helpless for a period of time.

What Does An Alcoholic Seizure Look Like?

A seizure during alcohol withdrawal is not uncommon. In very serious cases, professionals should be around you throughout the withdrawal process.

There are medications dedicated to helping individuals cope with the symptoms of withdrawal and address possible seizures when they come about. You aren’t guaranteed a seizure if you’re expecting alcohol withdrawal, but it’s not out of the question and could be deadly if you’re not with anyone.

You risk hitting your head or wounding yourself as you have alcohol-induced seizures. How this affects you, in combination with other symptoms of withdrawal, might be too much for your system to take as well.

Are You Struggling with Substance Abuse?

The realities of drug addiction can be scary when they’re put into perspective. Using drugs and alcohol can put your quality of life, mental health, relationships, and physical safety in grave danger.

It can be hard to decide to change when you start getting past the point you’re comfortable with. Many people wait until they reach rock bottom to start changing anything.

You don’t have to wait that long, though. If you find the motivation to quit, ride that inspiration toward a better life. There are treatment centres and rehabilitation facilities that can help you get on your feet and start working toward the life you want to live.

No matter how desperate your situation is, there’s hope for recovery. There’s a good chance that you can recover if you get in touch with the right facility to deal with your situation.

The reality is that no matter where you’re at now, addiction has a way of digging a pit that’s very hard to escape. The end of that pit holds seizures, painful withdrawals, death, or irreparable damage to your health and mind.

Those things can be avoided if you find the right recovery options.

Interested in Recovery?

Alcohol and seizures can go together, and it’s important that you’re prepared for that reality if you’re planning to quit. There are many options for you to work with if you’re looking for recovery, though.

We’re here to help.

Recovery is possible; you need to take the first step. Contact us to set up an appointment or learn more about various aspects of recovery.

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