Off Spirits

A primary mental health disorder should not be diagnosed during the acute withdrawal period, as signs and symptoms may overlap (anxiety, sleeping disturbance, agitation) (70). However, screening questionnaires such as the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) may help orient a diagnosis when feasible and are recommended in the guidelines (70). Always review the patient’s medical record and past medical history for mental health diagnosis. It is important to evaluate for suicide risk in every patient during the initial assessment (70). Alcohol tremors can occur during the 3-5 day range of time during which one experiences alcohol withdrawal and a possible alcohol withdrawal seizure.

alcohol withdrawal seizure

While there are many different ways seizures can manifest, tonic-clonic seizures are the most common form of seizures and can last up to two minutes. They will fall down if standing upright, and every muscle in their body will be completely tense. Following this stage of the seizure, the person will convulse alcohol withdrawal seizure uncontrollably. Often, the person will have no bodily control during the seizure and will not remember the seizure, being very groggy as they slowly wake up afterward. Seizures are different for everyone; however, seizures can often be predicted right before they occur by a phenomenon called an aura.

What Does An Alcohol Withdrawl Seizure Feel Like?

When he or she stops drinking, the nervous system becomes destabilized. Alcohol seizures are serious, so detox should never be attempted without medical support. Patients with a history of alcohol dependence may have confounding social or underlying psychiatric issues that one should also be aware of once they are stabilized. They will likely require a multidisciplinary approach before discharge. Mild symptoms can be elevated blood pressure, insomnia, tremulousness, hyperreflexia, anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, headache, palpitations.

The Orlando Recovery Center is a state-of-the-art facility committed to helping those with alcohol addiction safely get through withdrawal and achieve lasting sobriety. Our 93-bed center is designed to make the recovery experience as comfortable as possible. Not every seizure will necessarily be harmful, but all seizures have the potential to cause harm. The potential for seizures significantly increases the dangers of alcohol withdrawal. For those who suffer from alcohol use disorder as a result of coping with co-occurring mental illness, we also offer an extensive dual diagnosis treatment program.

Outpatient Treatment

These drugs act to slow down the central nervous system and are very helpful during detox. Patients with prolonged altered sensorium or significant renal abnormalities should receive an evaluation for the potential ingestion of another toxic alcohol. Patients who become financially strapped due to alcoholism could ingest other alcohols to become intoxicated.

alcohol withdrawal seizure

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force28 recommends screening patients for problem drinking through a careful history or standardized screening questionnaire. Diazepam (Valium) and chlordiazepoxide (Librium) are long-acting agents that have been shown to be excellent in treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Because of the long half-life of these medications, withdrawal is smoother, and rebound withdrawal symptoms are less likely to occur. Lorazepam (Ativan) and oxazepam (Serax) are intermediate-acting medications with excellent records of efficacy. Treatment with these agents may be preferable in patients who metabolize medications less effectively, particularly the elderly and those with liver failure.

Addiction Treatment Programs

Common medications include benzodiazepines to help treat symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs. If you drink only once in a while, it’s unlikely that you’ll have withdrawal symptoms when you stop. But if you’ve gone through alcohol withdrawal once, you’re more likely to go through it again the next time you call it quits.