Despite being a legal drug across most of the world, alcohol has some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms. Seizures can happen in any drinkers but the most common type of alcohol seizures are related to withdrawal, specifically when the individual has drank heavily for several years. Finding out about the different types of seizures which result from alcohol use is vital if you or your loved one is about to go through withdrawal. Anybody drinking heavily who also has epilepsy is at even greater risk of seizures, and should abstain or reduce their drinking as soon as possible.
Alcohol seizures result from the drug’s effects on the central nervous system. This is one of the core systems in the body, because it’s responsible for relaying messages to and from the brain. The depression of this system caused by alcohol often causes drinkers to fall asleep very soon after a particularly heavy session. A large, rapid dose of alcohol (a binge session) or the cessation of an extended period of heavy drinking can shock this system and lead to an alcohol seizure.
Many people assume that only addicted drinkers will consume enough to cause an alcohol seizure. This is unfortunately a misconception, because even young drinkers can suffer an alcohol-induced seizure. This happens when the individual drinks a large amount in one night, and is commonly referred to as a “rum fit.” These don’t happen too regularly, and may be more likely when the drinker has a pre-disposition towards seizures.
The more common alcohol seizures are as a result of withdrawal. If you or your loved one has been drinking heavily for several years, there is risk of seizures during the process of detoxification. This illustrates the importance of receiving medical advice before attempting to stop drinking. The repeated depression of the central nervous system causes it to spark into life with additional vigour when the drinker abstains. This “rebounding” effect of the nervous system produces alcohol withdrawal seizures. Alcohol seizures usually happen within three days of the individual stopping drinking, but they’re most common around eight hours after stopping.
Delirium tremens is a particularly severe form of alcohol withdrawal, and one in three people who experience seizures will also go through it. This is characterised by hallucinations, tremors, fever, rapid heartbeat and respiratory depression. Medical attention throughout the entire process of alcohol withdrawal is vital in cases of delirium tremens.
For most individuals, alcohol seizures are isolated events which clear up if they stop drinking. If you or your loved one has suffered an alcohol withdrawal seizure or a rum fit, consider this to be a stark warning about the dangers of continued drinking. Abstaining from alcohol will ensure that the seizure is an isolated event and not a repeating pattern. If doctors suspect that you or your loved one may be inherently susceptible to seizures, medication may be prescribed to manage the risk.
If you or your loved one is concerned about or has experienced an alcohol seizure, finding treatment for the addiction is vital. Alcohol rehab centres offer a wide range of medical and psychological treatments, and will ensure safe detox before tackling the underlying causes. Alcohol withdrawal is a particularly dangerous time, but treatment has to continue long afterwards to prevent relapse. If you’re looking for an alcohol rehab centre, we’ll listen to your requirements and suggest the best options to you. We have a thorough knowledge of the different centres located across the country, and we’ll happily answer any questions you have about treatment. We do all of this at no charge whatsoever, so get in touch with us today!