Quitting Drinking Seizures are Dangerous Medical Emergencies

Quitting Drinking Seizures are Dangerous Medical Emergencies


When quitting drinking, seizures are a real possibility, especially if you are a heavy drinker who has been drinking for a long period of time.  The problem is that your body is used to having the depressant of alcohol in it all the time, and when you remove it suddenly, the nervous system is all out of whack and is basically over revving at that time.  It is used to being subdued by the alcohol, and now it is suddenly gone.  This is the basic idea of why people have a tendency towards seizures when they quit drinking cold turkey.

Now in order to prevent these seizures while quitting drinking, you might go to a treatment center where they will give you medication. In the old days, they used to give tranquilizer type drugs that would keep people from shaking and prevent seizures, but nowadays they tend to give safer, less addictive medication.  But realize that even if you go to rehab and they are giving you these medications 4 times per day, you might still have a seizure anyway due to the alcohol withdrawal!  This should show you just how serious this is, and how important it is to seek medical treatment during detox.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Fancy Mandi

If you are not a heavy drinker or have not been drinking for many years then it might not be a problem.  You might have a very low risk of seizure because your body is not as dependent on the alcohol.  But if you tend to shake a bit when you go too long without a drink, then that is a huge warning sign that you need to seek medical treatment and you might be a good candidate for having a seizure during detox.

Some people are extremely ignorant when it comes to alcoholic seizures and they say something like: “Oh, I don’t need to worry about that.  I have never had a seizure before in my life.” Um, yes you do.  I have witnessed dozens and dozens of alcoholics having seizures who had their very first seizure ever during alcohol withdrawal at a treatment center.  And the amazing thing is that all of these people were on medications to help prevent the seizure from occurring, and it happened anyway.

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This is nothing to mess around with.  If you are a heavy drinker and you are physically addicted to alcohol, then you might want to seek medical treatment for your alcohol withdrawal.  Doing it by yourself is probably too dangerous if you shake when you stop drinking.

The safest way to detox from alcohol is to get to a medically supervised detox center.  Failing that, you might even go to an emergency room if you are already in withdrawal.  But do not just stay at home and tough it out and hope that you will be OK, especially if your shakes and tremors are getting progressively worse.  The more you tremor, the more likely you are to have a seizure at some point.  Day 3 without any booze is generally the highest risk, though that can vary quite a bit.


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