Drug Induced Seizures

Recovery position

The recovery position; an essential after seizure position to prevent choking and allow good respiration.

Many drug users may have experienced a seizure at one time or another –and you don’t have to be an epileptic to have a seizure.

[Epileptic] seizures can be very frightening to experience and to witness and although many ‘committed’ drug users/drinkers will have experienced a seizure at some point in our lives, there are still many myths that concern how to deal with a person who is fitting and a general lack of understanding as to what triggers ones seizure, or how to deal with it when it occurs. (look at OD Myths’ in Black Poppy 2).

There are two main types of epileptic seizures; petit mal (minor epilepsy where a person may momentarily lapse into inattention/ daydreaming without losing consciousness) and Grand Mal ( Major epilepsy) which is more serious with muscular spasms and convulsions and a short loss of consciousness. People who are epileptic may often carry an orange ID card or wear a warning bracelet. With drug use, it is the major type of seizure that occurs most often. This is usually from long term (or heavy bingeing) benzo or barbiturate use; A person may miss taking their pills for a day and find themselves fitting. However, seizures can occur alongside an overdose on most drugs, indeed they occur from too much alcohol, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, antidepressants and many others.  Interestingly, everyone has what is known as a ‘seizure threshold’ meaning that anyone can experience one given the right conditions. (BP has an indepth article on seizures, see Issue 11 for our drug induced seizure update.)

It is certain that stress increases the possibility of seizures, as does menstrual changes, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, metabolic changes (including blood pressure that is too low or drug/alcohol use), virus activity and other things, such as trauma to the head area, with seizures more likely to  re-occur if someone has had them in the past.

It is important to get to know what ‘trigger’ your seizures as it appears that the more you get them, the more susceptible you become to getting them. Thus if you can find ways to reduce the likelihood of getting a seizure, either through using certain neuroleptic drugs and improving your lifestyle, you have more chance of getting rid of them. Most people do stop or ‘grow out’ of seizures, but they can come back when your body is struggling from one thing or another.

Many of us have experienced seizures starting through too much benzodiazepines use (or rather, from stopping them too quickly). Seizures can still happen up to a few years after benzo/barbiturate use has stopped. (see warning signs).

What is happening in the brain when a seizure happens?

A typical brain like yours has about 10 billion (10,000,000,000) cells called “neurons.” These neurons are all bunched up side-by-side, and communicate with each other with electrical charges. Certain chemicals in your brain help put brakes on all of this electrical activity. In a seizure, a “short circuit” occurs, during which the neurons keep firing.  Since the neurons control your muscles, then the muscles keep firing.  This stiffening or jerking of your muscles is what everyone sees and calls a seizure.  Sometimes, in ‘petite mal’ seizures, your body might just go into a staring spell, but it’s due to the same kind of short circuit.

When someone has a seizure…

It is ESSENTIAL to remain calm when a person has a seizure -as they can often become very frightened and confused when regaining consciousness and may not recognize their surroundings. There is often no indication prior to someone having a fit, perhaps the person may get an odd taste or smell or a type of ‘aura’ surrounding their mood or body. A person will usually just suddenly lose consciousness, sometimes letting out a strange cry, or will just pass into unconsciousness and then begin fitting.

The casualty will become rigid for a few seconds and may cease breathing with their mouth and lips turning blue. There will be congestion around the face and neck. The muscles then relax and the convulsions begin. They consist of contraction and relaxation of alternate groups of muscles. These convulsions can be frightening to witness as they can be very intense. During this period which will only last a few minutes, the person may froth about the mouth and breathing can become noisy and difficult. You may see blood coming from their mouth but this will probably be the result of a bitten tongue. Your pal may sometimes lose control of their bladder or bowels.

After the convulsions finish (usually 5 minutes at most) the person will remain unconscious for a few more minutes or more, breathing will become normal and they will slowly ‘come around’ feeling dazed, confused and often scared. When a person has a seizure:

What can you do to help?

1) You can protect them from injury by holding them gently but firmly enough so they don’t hurt themselves whilst convulsing, but never hold them unnecessarily, you could do damage or you may get hurt.

2) Don’t move or lift them unless they are in danger and NEVER put anything in their mouth or try to open it. Spoons to stop people swallowing tongues are a MYTH, DONT DO IT!

3) When the convulsions cease, put them in the recovery position (see fig 6). Stay with them until they awake properly, speak calmly and reassuringly to them and try to make sure the first person they see is a loved one or friend rather than a stranger. Don’t give them anything to drink until they are fully awake. Leave them to rest as long as they need to in a quiet room. It is extremely exhausting for the body. You may need to comence mouth to mouth if their breathing hasn’t returned to normal from their overdose.

Call an ambulance if:

It is the persons first seizure,

Or it accompanies an overdose,

Or the person has two or three fits without regaining consciousness between them,

Or they take longer than 15 minutes to regain consciousness

It is always important however, they advise their doctor about the seizure, at least to rule out any other causes such as a virus, tumor or other problem.

Leave a comment

47 Comments

  1. Holly

     /  June 21, 2014

    Hi there,
    I am 25yrs old and was diagnosed with petit mal when I was 11. I was put on medication until I was 16, when I stopped taking it and was able to get my license, where I was told I had grown out of it.
    When I was 20 I saw a neurologist to get an EEG to confirm I was safe to get my full license.
    Up until now I haven’t had a seizure or problem and have partaken in recreational drug use, including ecstasy, alcohol and amphetamines. I usually drink twice a week, smoke marijuana regularly and would take 1-3 caps or pills every second weekend. On occasion I would also continue partying through the night and skip sleep on a Saturday.

    Now it’s been 9years since I have had medication with no problems..

    Until last week when I had been drinking and taking drugs every couple of days over a 3 week period due to holidays. I thought I was fine considering my previous history in taking these types of drugs with no seizures

    Over a weekend of taking mdma, smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol (skipping sleep and food from Tuesday to Wednesday) I had a seizure followed by another seizure and was taken to hospital. Here I had another seizure while the drugs would still have been in my body.

    I have realised this is a wake up call and have decided to be more sensible and not party as hard or take as many drugs. In saying this I do not want to stop drinking and occasionally taking a small amount of drugs with friends (although the days of staying up for 2 nights is over)

    Doctors advise to never take drugs again and only drink in moderation. As I have never had a problem with drinking or taking drugs, I want to know if this was due to my petit mal when I was younger or it is likely my seizures were caused from too much drugs, no sleep and dehydration? And if so is drinking a couple of times a week still safe?

    I also enjoy smoking a joint with my boyfriend after work or before a movie, is marijuana likely to cause a seizure?
    if I attend a festival with my friends would taking 1e tablet or small amount of speed cause another seizure?
    I’m confused because now I’m told not to drink or do any drugs when I have been partying for awhile with no seizures (and I admit I was dumb and took too much this 1 time)

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

    Reply
    • Hi Holly. The relationship between drug use and health problems like epilepsy is complex, and depends upon the type of epilepsy, frequency and scale of fits, and other health problems. Regarding drugs, many of them can increase the risks of fits under certain conditions, but moderate use of cannabis, alcohol or depressant drugs (eg. opioids, benzodiazepines) has a far lower risk compared with use of stimulants like amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy (MDMA). Regarding fits and seizures: frequency of use, amounts used and methods of use are also relevant consumption factors, and use of several drugs together can also be very risky. You also need to remember that illicit drugs are typically adulterated, and so you do not always know what substances you have consumed (eg. the legal stimulant caffeine is a common adulterant in powdered drugs). And given the huge range and variable risks of ‘legal highs’, these drugs are best avoided altogether by people who have seizures.
      In short, the only way to avoid increasing the frequency/scale of seizures and fits is not to use any psychoactive drugs at all – though stimulants are the drugs to be particularly avoided, especially regular or heavy stimulant use. Some people believe that moderate use of cannabis or alcohol helps control the number and extent of their seizures, but there’s no hard evidence of this, and individual differences are very apparent. You should also check the information provided with your prescribed medicines, to see if it gives warnings about avoiding particular types of drug.
      Last, but by no means least, seizures can also be worsened by indirect drug-related things, notably – especially when stimulants are used – not eating properly, not sleeping enough, and over-exerting yourself (eg. dancing too long). So, if drugs are used, it’s even more important to look after yourself while you are under their influence (i.e. drinking, eating and sleeping normally, as much as possible). Take it easy!
      Answered by: Dr Nuke

      Reply
  2. I had a drug induced seizure over New Years Eve 2011-2012. I’d never had a seizure before, nothing even close. Never even fainted. Despite copious amounts of GHB, I had been up for four days straight, which honestly wasn’t all that usual for me back then since I was addicted to meth. But I was going even bigger and harder than normal since I was on vacation in NY for a week. LSD, 2c-e, cocaine, crack, ecstasy, benzo’s, you name it. And right before I was about to do a line of coke, I felt like, electricity pulses through my body and had small uncontrolled muscle spasms. But despite the itching feeling in the back of my mind that said “something isn’t right. This isn’t a good idea.” I did the line of coke anyway… and it was a massive line of coke. Cut especially for me since they knew I liked to go big or go home. I did the line and immediately knew something was really wrong. I was able to walk over to the bed where my boyfriend was in the hotel room and say “Something’s not right.” and collapsed. My next memory was waking up in the bed with all the people in the room standing over me debating calling 911. It was terrifying coming out of. I was fine after, but definitely a scary experience in the moment, being that it was completely new to me, and I’ve been partying like that for approaching two decades. I was glad I was able to make it over to my bf and he caught me and placed me on the bed while it was happening. So I avoided any bodily injury.

    Reply
  3. Sajid

     /  June 18, 2014

    Hello,
    I am sajid from india. I am a student and my age is 21+. In my family background no one ever had the seizures/epilepsy. But I often had since 2012 due to taking medicinal drugs (cough syrups). But even after that incidence I continued to keep my dosage. And till the day I had experienced 6-7 attacks of fits. The last one was the previous week. Now I have realized that I am lucky till now to survive after 6-7 attacts. I understood the importance of life. I know how precious is the life. Now I dont want to live the life that I have been living last 2 years. I now want to live a healthy life and want to give all of my life to my parents who gave me such beautiful gift of life. Please guide me to live a healthy life in future. I also want to know that now I have quitted the intake of drugs. Is there any chance even after this to be attacked by fits. Is fits in my situation curable. Please inform me every little information related to this. I dont want to lose my life at this very beginning. I want to live more years. Please help me please!

    Reply
    • Hi Sajid. It sounds to me like you have decided to stop using drugs, and want help and support to remain abstinent. You should ask your closest friends/relatives to help you stay clear of drugs, or if you have a local drug/health agency, contact them and see what help they can offer you. There are also many online forums and other sites for ex-users of drugs – google terms like ‘recovery’ and ‘drug advice’, and try out some sites until you find one that suits you.
      Also, from what you say, it’s not clear that drugs are involved in your seizures, though they could be one of the causes. Did anything else in your lifestyle or life change in the weeks or months before your seizures started? If you think carefully about your recent and present life, you may be able to identify other things which could have triggered your seizures (eg. greater exposure to flashing lights, over-use of computers). Especially if you stop taking drugs, and/or get medical help, it’s quite possible that your seizures will reduce in frequency or intensity, or even stop altogether – so don’t lose hope!
      Remember though its always really important to get a dr to clear whether it was just drug related and not something else underlying, such as epilepsy or a hundred other things.
      If ur scared to mention the drugs to the dr then don’t, just say you have been fitting when you’ve been pushing yourself or stay as close to the truth as possible. The bottom line is a scan is needed if you are getting seizures frequently.
      Answered by: Dr Nuke

      Reply
  4. Sara

     /  June 16, 2014

    I have these seizure feeling thisngs in my sleep as I’m falling asleep sometimes and when it happens its when I have been drinking for days or when I have abused a drug or if I’m just stressed bad..I can’t pin point it to anything in particular. It has happened even when I’m not doing any of those things what can I do when it happens? Because I’ll force myself awake and I’m scared to fall asleep..

    Reply
    • Hi Sara. It’s always best to get medical help if you are having seizures, particularly if they are frequent, and if they lead to injuries or accidents. There are many medications which can reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures. If you feel a seizure coming on, you should tell the friends/relatives you are with, so that they can look after you. You should also try to lay down on a soft surface, like a large bed or carpeted floor; if you are wearing a tie or collar, loosen them; and remove anything in your mouth, such as dentures or chewing gum. Avoiding drugs is also a good idea – particularly stimulant drugs like amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy (MDMA). Good luck.
      Answered by: Dr Nuke

      Reply
  5. George

     /  June 1, 2014

    Hi im 23 and going through a benzo withdrawl ( consumed benzos for about three months) started with clonazepam and then they switched me to diazepam mixed with sulpiride,which I have snorted on occasions( stupid I know). It’s been a month since my last benzo, its been a cold turkey withdrawl, due to money issues. I’m very afraid of the consequences this may bring as I’m told this could induce a seizure. I took a SSRI (Paxil) to see if it would help a little with this hell that is the benzo withdrawl but it made it worse, that same day I took the SSRI I had an odd experience where a friend came over to my place and we started talking, he noticed I was very quiet and asked me if something was wrong, I said yes but it was far from the truth. I can’t describe it very well but the sensation was odd and I had this weird taste all of sudden in my mouth, and I started to panic, I had a glass of water in my hand and when I sat it on the table i noticed that my arm moved in a very peculiar way almost robotic in its movement, not natural at all, I felt dissociated almost. I spaced out completely. I never lost consciousness but could no longer keep up with what my friend was saying, I would try to keep the conversation going so he wouldn’t notice, but I would slur a little which made me panic even more and decided just to shut up and not say anything not that I really could if I wanted to. Then I “came back” because I heard his voice but from a different direction, don’t know if I’m making much sense. Say he is on my left side and I heard him from the right side, very odd. I felt a very strong euphoria in my body almost like a roll with E but not pleasant at all. Like an aura around my body pulsing, as if someone was pulling me from various points of my body and my head felt like it was going to explode with all the tension. I thought it was a very strong panic attack, which I have very often and I know how bad they can get and I have experienced some dissociation and spacing out when I panic, but this was different. It was a very terrifying experience and I really thought I was dying. I have experienced hallucinations in this withdrawl (door frames seem to move, and sometimes I can’t pin point where a sound is coming from) they have stopped now, but the increased anxiety, muscle pains, headaches etc keep going. I know it’s the benzo but still I’m afraid for my health don’t know if I should bring it up with my Doctor, because I know it will just be more benzos and they seem to do more harm than good… Could have this been a seizure?

    Reply
  6. Marla

     /  May 31, 2014

    Hi i’m currently into my seizure experience, and I just am trying to understand everything while being very very afraid of the worst. Yet i’m starting to understand that it’s my abuse of benzos that may have caused this. Let me start from the beginning and if i’m not making sense i’m sorry..i ramble

    I was introduced to xanex when I was around 22 years old by some friends, and because of my issues with anxiety I thought it was the best thing in the world. I started drinking and taking it while partying. Not even thinking about the amount I was doing because it felt so amazing to be on the benzos. I got into more drugs during that time as well. opiates which I never really took a liking too because the effect wasn’t the effect that the benzos gave me. They gave me the feeling of not giving a fuck which I enjoyed so much because I was always thinking about what everyone thought of me. Then I took MDMA on a few occasions. I would say I had around 4-5 experiences at the most with that. Only did coke like two time…i wasn’t an upper girl. I was a downer chick. So never got into other forms of speed and really disliked the feeling coke gave me. I never tried heroin because I was afraid of it being too good, and i didn’t want to take the risk. Well my love of benzos kind of got out of control. With the abusive relationship I used them to not feel like stuff was happening. Even then tho it was me having to take them when I got my hands on them, but then I found a doctor that gave me whatever I wanted. So I had a monthly prescription to benzos.

    I was almost 25 and the addiction and love of the pills wasn’t going anywhere. I then broke up with that boyfriend, but continued to get my prescription. Then I had a bit of a break down when I all of a sudden had to stop due to switching doctors. I went off in the doctors office, and he pretty much stopped me cold turkey on the benzos. He also got in contact with my doctor (Per my irrational request) and that doctor said that I didn’t need to continue taking them. I went home stressed and upset and then my break down started. My father passed away and I ended up telling my then mentally abusive boyfriend that I wanted to kill myself. I was put into the mental hospital, and I was very open about my addiction.They of course told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea for my to continue on those drugs, and I was released. Then I found another doctor (Gotta love Florida) who gave me a prescription of Koladapen (sorry for the spelling), and xanex cr. Which kind of helped, but I ended up losing my job due to not going to it, and insurance ran out.

    Broke up with that boyfriend when I was 26 and early part of that year I used my last prescription of koladapen. I was feeling fine and meet my current boyfriend. Who is such a support through all this. After we got together tho my 15 year old sister passed away. Which was one of the biggest blows to me that I have ever felt. I ended up going to the doctor after she passed, and that doctor didn’t know anything about my history. They prescribed my adivan for a few months, and I didn’t return to the doctor because I didn’t insurance. Also because I wanted to feel my sister’s death. I didn’t want to make it go away like I would do with the drugs. I got intense agoraphobia after this, and my panic attacks went to a place they had never been in my life. I was very paranoid, and extremely stressed. Now fast forward to 32 year old me. Still off of everything, but barely wanting to leave the house. Then my father in law’s new girlfriend came in town with loratab and valiums. She was very giving of these, and I started taking them off and on for the next year. drinking with them. Mixing them together. just a mess of abuse. Then when she found out that she was out of them until her insurance kicked in for the new state she was living in. I wasn’t able to get them anymore.

    33 year old me and I have my first seizure. Now I had never had any seizures before this. I had light tremors when detoxing but never seizures. My boyfriend was the witness to these and he said what happened was like a grand mal. I blacked out, so i have no idea what happened. I just rememeber waking up and confused. He took me to the er. I was a mess and confused as to what happened. Now also before this seizure happened I was going through extremely business stress. The night before we had an extreme fight with someone with this business and i was running on low sleep. Bad eating habits. also my weight had went up really high. I had the seizure while I was sleep. It woke my boyfriend up. Lucky he didn’t put anything in my mouth or anything like that. I had blood work and it showed my iron was low. I was also dehydrated extremely. I had a ct scan which came out a little blurry but for the most part showed nothing. So I told the ER about my stress and panic issues. They gave me blood pressure medicine because that was high and I’m at risk for high blood pressure due to weight. They also gave me adtivan. Then I had to do a follow up appointment 30 days later, which was needed cause my meds was running low. That doctor gave me xanex and warned me of an addiction. I didn’t say anything because I still didn’t know what was going on. They also didn’t continue me on blood pressure meds because it was doing well, but that kind of freaked me out. I still didn’t know why I had the seizure, and I thought if I ran out I would have another one. I abused my xanex drinking with it trying to make myself calm, and when it was running low. I decided it would make more sense for me to get a weed card. I thought the weed would help my blood pressure. .I got my weed card, and my xanex was done. The weed helped my nerves a lot, but the stress going on with the business was still very much present. I would smoke the weed and I would be chill. Yet on the 23 of november I had another seizure. This is with no medicine except for the weed. I was in a high stress situation and in the car. We opted not to go to the er right away. We wanted to see if it would happen again. Basically I thought I was just epiletic, and that’s why it keeps happening. Then when I was talking to my mom on the phone, and we started fighting. I had another one while on the phone with her fighting. So I went to the hospital.Told them the situation. The doctor told me that the weed more than likely made it worse, and he put me on dilantin. He wasn’t very helpful at all, and seemed like he was trying to get me out of his office. Again they knew about the weed, but knew nothing about my drug abuse history. They just knew about the benzo’s I was prescribed in the past few months. Not that I was abusing benzo’s hard for the last year. I was afraid, and I still am. Because I started wondering why this happened out of the blue. Because I thought if it was from the benzo’s someone would have said something. Now they knew I had taken benzo’s in the passed for my anixities…but they didn’t know how I was taking them. I went to a neuro doctor, and they wanted another ct scan that wasn’t blurry. She said that the CT scan looked ok, but it was a little blurry. So she wanted a better look. Now this was with temp insurance, and it went away before I could schedule the CT scan. Also I ran out of dialantin. Which I was like oh well. I gotta see what happens while i’m waiting for insurance. Then a little over a month later. 23rd of jan I had another 2 seizures. I went to the er, and they set me up with dilantin again. They didn’t set up an appointment or anything like that.

    They basically gave me enough to try to last me until I got insurance. So now I have insurance, and I just started the early part of the test. Which is my blood levels was taken again. The pattern I noticed with these attacks is that they happen around the time of my period, and again they happened when I had no benzo at all in my system or dilantin. I’m extremely scared, because I’m afraid i’m dying or i’m going to die from the seizure. I plan on being totally open with my doctor when I get my lab results. Letting him know my full history. I’m also waiting for my referral to a neuro doctor, and I also plan on letting them know everything I’m going through. I guess I’m typing this to share my story with you. I’m afraid, but today actually is where I kind of had an Aha Moment. That I started thinking about all my past drug use, and how right after I was done with a year of abusing. That this happened. That has given me a little peace of mind, but i’m still scared. I just hope it’s something I’m able to fix. I plan on doing everything I can to lead a healthy lifestyle from now one. My main concern is that i’m going to die, and will the seizures continue for the rest of my life. Since they started.

    Reply
    • Yog

       /  July 3, 2014

      I read your whole story, and you are incredibly strong. I applaud you. That’s a lot to deal with. It’s completely normal to be scared after a seizure and your fears are valid. Luckily, I don’t think it’s possible to actually die FROM a seizure. Seizure-related deaths occur because the person having the seizure had hit their head on a surface HARD, or are in an otherwise dangerous situation. Seizure-related deaths aren’t that common though. My best advice to you is, whenever you feel a seizure coming on or sense your ‘aura’, lay on the ground in a safe spot with a jacket or pillow under your head and take slow breaths. There are lots of medications that can help you deal with seizures, marijuana being one of them, but sometimes weed doesn’t work for everyone, or only certain strains of weed work. Your seizure may not have been related to the pot.
      I have had one seizure in my life and it was after a stressful 5-hour bus trip, with minimal sleep, food, oxygen, and water: I was visiting home and I lit up a spliff on my dad’s front patio one afternoon where I started to feel way more high than I should have been after one little spliff. I went inside and got myself a cup (a paper cup, thank god!) of water and I started to have tunnel vision, but I thought nothing of it since I was high. I sat on the couch and moments later I was crushing the cup in my hand, frothing at the mouth and convulsing. My dad took me to the ER and when I woke up in the car I thought he had kidnapped me to go to the hardware store with him. Ha! Anyway…. that was the only humorous part in my story. I lived in fear and melancholy every day for a few weeks, I’m still coming to terms with it. (This was two months ago.) I laid in bed, petrified every night, with the door wide open and a couple nightlights here and there. I was too scared to sleep and felt like crying all night but I was too paralysed by my own fear. My sister has had epilepsy since she was very little and it’s normal to feel the worst-you’ve-ever-felt-in-your-fricking-life once you regain consciousness and it takes a different amount of time for everyone to recuperate. I wish you good luck and I promise it’s going to be okay, one way or another.
      NOTE, if a person has a long seizure that lasts more than 5 min, it is definitely a medical emergency and someone must call emergency services. Same as if a person has more than 3 or so seizures in a row. Very bad also – definitely call the paramedics. People can die from choking on vomit for example, being turned onto side into recovery position should sort that out. But as mentioned it is really about the injuries you can sustain by seizures. However, if a person is diagnosed with uncontrolled epilepsy, there is a relatively rare chance of dying from SUDUP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) but a talk with your doctor will sort out whether there is a need for further tests. Make sure though to let all your close friends and family know how to deal with seizures. People can be hopeless sometimes and do more harm than good aye!!

      Reply
  7. Ruby

     /  May 29, 2014

    Hey, I am 19 years old. I have had about 6 fits within a year and it started June last year when I was given something which was meant to be MDMA but instead was something else. Well I ended up waking up to people around me worried asking me if I was ok saying I have just had a fit and then an ambulance arrived( before then I was okay with drugs and handled them fine) but ever since I have had 5 fits. Quite major ones, and it’s such a horrible experience. People who know me have seen me have fits in a club and it’s only of drugs. I have had a fit 3 times in a club and 4 times in someone’s house when we have all been doing drugs in the space of a year. I never know when I’m about to have a fit it just happens. I just want to know if there is anything that can possible stop them or why it is happening. Really bothers me :( Thank you for reading x

    Reply
    • Hi Ruby. You should see the responses to other questions about drug use and seizures, or I am going to be repeating the same stuff over and over here. But to focus on your main question, the only way you can be more sure about what causes your seizures is to seek medical help and advice. Ideally, this would mean telling your doctor about your drug use too, but you also need to consider the implications of doing this (eg. it could affect any applications for life insurance). Seizures can occur for many reasons, and use of drugs could be one of them – particularly stimulant drugs like amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy (MDMA); and particularly regular or heavy drug use. If your pattern of seizures seems to be directly related to your use of drugs, then the best thing you can do is stop using drugs – or at least keep your drug use to the lowest level possible. Good luck.
      Answered by: Dr Nuke

      Reply
  8. Kevin

     /  May 20, 2014

    I am going to my first massive in June and I am currently on anti-convulsants for previous seizures. I am wondering is there any drugs I can take that will not lower the seizure threshold? Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Emily

     /  May 4, 2014

    So, I am pretty sure I just had a seizure for the first time following crack use. Should I go to the hospital or anything?

    Reply
    • To avoid repeating myself too much, you should read the other responses to questions about seizures. But to focus on your question – should you seek medical help? – it really depends on how serious the seizure was (eg. how long did it last?), what consequences it had (eg. did you injure yourself?), and how anxious you feel about it. But if you have more seizures, you should seriously consider seeking medical help. More importantly, you are probably best avoiding any more crack use for the time being, as well as avoiding use of any other stimulant drugs (such as amphetamines or ecstasy). These are the most likely substances to trigger seizures, though the vast majority of users of these drugs do not have seizures. If you do use stimulant drugs again, and this is followed by more seizures, my advice would be to avoid using them at all
      NOTE written in later; Actually, that was a shit response ultimately if continuing using is what you are going to do. I’m so sorry! Really I should have said, If u can’t stop using stimulants of any sorts, or whatever sorts, then u must be prepared to do ur UTMOST and listen to your body – especially when it is telling you its had enough, it is ALWAYS RIGHT and it’s saying it for a reason. Same basic info applys here tho when you are repeatedly using and seizures start appearing.
      1) isolate your ‘trigger’ factors (what were u doing in the 24-48 hours before it, periods, lack of food, sleep etc??? what drug was it that caused it this time, has that changed from last time?
      2) and this is really actually your first port of call – your DR. Factors taken into account by the doc will help them to guide you if they are a little confused by yoiur seizure, towards an MRI or CT scan (easy peasy, no pain whatsoever, its a scan of head).
      Hope that helps a bit. Shows we gotta care for these bodies we live it, and we are all sooooo different! Good luck

      Reply
  10. Jillian Stanfield

     /  April 26, 2014

    My bf had injected meth and went to the bathroom about 15 mins after the injection and I thought he was going number 2 he had asked me to do him a favor with his phone so while he was in there I had my music up singing with it and didn’t hear him hit the wall. I did call out to him after about 10 mins in there but didn’t hear anything figured he was still doing his business he finally came out n grabbed our bed I got up he yelled at me for not hearing him it the wall n toldme about his seizure he layed down andstarted staring into space not aanswering me nothing n when he finally did he was stuttering n angry with me asked me to leave him alone he didn’t want to look at me I left the room to give him space but cried cause I had no clue. He thinks I just don’t care about him cause I didn’t check up in the bathroom. He’s almost 40 an alcoholic been on drugs of all sorts for yrs but changes not all at once. This time around its meth. And he won’t smoke it I used to have Benzos but took myself all pain n anxiety meds.Am iI going to have to watch his every single move n time him since he won’t stop? And if so what can I do at home to help him? He is 200# im only 98# soak n wet so I can’t lift him.please helpn aalso how do I convince him I didn’t realise heis most iimportant to me

    Reply
  11. nic

     /  April 5, 2014

    I am 32 I have been taking Xanax for about 6 years. On vacation I didn’t have any, couldn’t sleep for about 2 days and didn’t have much to eat. I went out to the beach felt weird and the sun was really bothering me all of a sudden I saw a bubble grow and change colors, like a real bubble that you make. I tried calling my husband’s name but I hit the sand (Thank goodness). Next thing I know I’m back in the hotel with my husband asking me if I knew what happened I was still lost for a minute and he explained he saw me on the beach with a mouthful of foam, jerking my whole body and bit chunks from my cheeks. My body hurt so bad for 2 days, my mouth hurt and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. He finally found me a Xanax and I was fine. I have since tried cutting back slowly but I can feel that feeling even if I haven’t had .5mg in 12 hours and lights really get to me easily. I am terrified to have another but have not seen a Dr. Will I really really have to worry about having another one years after stopping? Will I always be more susceptible to having another? How can I try to avoid it? Anti cunvulsants or Valium? So scared!

    Reply
  12. oli

     /  March 14, 2014

    Hi I am about to try cocaine… i had epilepsy however it was well controlled by tablets. I no longer need pills and have not had a real fit for maybe a few years and havent taken tablets for almost three years…… are my chances of getting a fit from taking cocaine high? I have taken mdma and had no fit! Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi,
      Thanks for writing in. Well, if you have a susceptibility to seizures, and indeed if you have had epilepsy, then you probably know that you have a few ‘triggers’ that can make you more vulnerable to having fits (as in the past). Things like lack of sleep, not eating, lots of stress, etc. So, in terms of cocaine, people do have seizures from overuse of coke, it is one of the main drugs that cause seizures, especially if you inject. Usually, seizures in coke users occur when they have too much, and have been pushing their bodies hard or have been drinking a lot on top of everything. In your case, if you are very determined to take cocaine, it would be best to take some precautions. 1stly, make sure you know your source. Have friends used it before you? Did they think it ‘felt’ ok/normal. Always try and buy from someone who uses their own product, or at least ensure your friends know the product. 2nd, Be sure on the day leading up to your coke session, you have slept well, (this is very important to get a good nights sleep under your belt), and have eaten well. Stock up on your B vitamins (good for nervous system) especially B12, (click this link) Mackeral or tuna and swiss cheese on a sandwich for example are excellent sources of B12, as are many crustaceans like crab etc; marmite/vegemite on toast, and swallow a B complex slow release vitamin in the week beforehand and the week afterwards. Ok so this won’t prevent a fit if one is coming but it arms you with a better defense.
      no 3) – is dont drink alcohol! Alcohol in itself can trigger a seizure, and cocaine allows people to drink a lot more than they normally would, only hitting them later, which it does, Pow! So, if you think you can pace yourself and just have a glass of wine or 2, or wine and orange juice etc, then that is up to you but to protect yourself fully, avoiding alcohol is the best bet. Be sure to never let yourself get dehydrated, so always drink water inbetween any other drinks, esp if you decide to drink alcohol. 4th, make certain that one of your friends who you will be with for the duration of the drug taking, knows what to do if you have a seizure. Mainly, this will involve, keeping you safe, holding you gently but firmly so you dont hurt yourself while fitting (bang your head etc) and placing you in the recovery position afterwards, and staying with you until you wake up and taking you home safely. It can be hard to ask a friend but remember, this is what friends are for, and remind them that you will be there for them should anything ever happen to them during such a situation. Good luck, dont go overboard on the coke, dont inject just snort or swallow, (smoking freebase can be fit material as well, much lie injecting so be very careful and when your body says ‘I Think Ive Had Enough’ – LISTEN to it!! Its always RIGHT!! Take care, BP x

      Reply
  13. Well here a story here I was using meth and I was up for 2 month’s straight and I got busted with my well a guy that is now my ex I had to of my kids with me yes it’s stupid I was dum but any way when dhs came and took my babies I lost it I had 2 seizures bk to bk it lasted like a few mins and tell this day I sit have them I have a symptoms every day and every time I have one they are different everytime I have one I forget what I’m talking abt and what I did later that day it’s like it erases some of my memory it’s crazy I get wearied symptoms like day dream tengaling and other things I just wish it would go away but with the past of meth use it will prob never go away

    Reply
    • Dear April,
      Im so sorry to hear about your babies being taken, there is no pain greater on this earth. WE are so sorry to hear about this, it must have been horrific for all of you. Stress does indeed trigger seizures, it is often tho working with some other tings like lack of sleep, no food, low blood pressure, alcohol and/or drug use etc. You say you get these symptoms where you have a vague sort of black out and forget what you have been saying etc. Tis actually sounds like what they call Petite Mal seizures.Have a look up on the internet. Tey are sometimes known as ‘Absence seizures’. |But you will need a proper diagnosis. Petite Mal seizures can often be confused with complex partial seizures and it is important to get the right diagnosis as the treatment for one is not recommended for the other. Check out this link as a basic start point and see if this is relevant to you.. There is treatment for this and it is important that you seek out a good diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment as it is hard work for your brain to be experiencing this every day! You can ring your local Epilepsy Organisation or Trust and speak to someone there who may be able to give you more sympathetic advice as a first port of call. Good luck, and we hope you may one day soon reunite with your babies. Most kids always come looking for their birth mother. Best of luck April BPx

      Reply
  14. Isaaq

     /  December 8, 2013

    I was smoking weed through my nose because i couldnt smoke through my mouth because i had my wisdom teeth removed ( i know im stupid) well as the day went on i was ok but once my friend rolled a blunt and i smoked it through my nose 3 minuted later my vision started turning gray like if i got up too fast, the next thing i know im on the floor waking up to see my friends looking at me asking if i was ok, i weirdly knew i had a seizure and my friends said it lasted less than a minute, but a few seconds later i went to pee and i went gray again, except i didnt twitch this time i just fell for a few seconds. I was dropped off home really tired and kinda confused but played it off to my grandma that i was tired and layed with her (just in case i had one in my sleep) i woke up the next day feeling ok maybe just a little dizzy and have a very small headache that is already going away, i didnt go to the hospital or doctor because of how ashamed i would be to tell my grandma. Should i worry i never had a seizure and i hope i dont get brain damage

    Reply
  15. sara

     /  November 20, 2013

    This will be a interesting story for you guys. Once when I was younger my friends talked me into doing E. I was scared at first but soon jumped on the band wagon. After that I never touched it again. Years later I was having a sleep over with my friend, and all of a sudden I woke up walked to the light tried to turn it on but instead I was flicking the switch on and off I couldn’t stop and I was shaking yelling to my friend I was freaking out. I tried laying down after my little episode and my eyes started to flutter back and forth I tried drinking water and I couldn’t stop shaking my eyes were going a hundred miles per hour all I could say to my friend was I’m freaking out man. I was stuttering and couldn’t stop the violent shakes I don’t remember much after that and was unsure what cause it. Years later I spent the whole day and night with new friends popping and snorting E. ( I’d like to add I’ve only done E twice in my life) It was fine and interesting at the time but wow what a hang over. Nothing happened till a while after but I had a seizure at a friends. I was sleeping in a dark room and woke up on the floor. My friends soon took me to the hospital worried of my safety I told them I didn’t want to go but they insisted.That night we had some drinks and a little bump of coke it was not a big deal we didn’t feel very drunk or even high so we went to bed. I’ve done coke before and drank and slept fine. This had to happen this night, and I couldn’t figure it out for the longest time. Every time I’ve had an episode where I’m shaking or my eyes are fluttering back and forth it has been in a dark room. When I get this feeling I have to keep my eyes wide open or I feel like I’m going to have another seizure. I can usually get myself out of having an episode but years later I had another seizure I didn’t go to bed while on drugs or alcohol I was sober but I woke up on the floor the person I was sleeping with was hovering over me asking if I was alright. I said yes and went back to bed like nothing happened. Now its been a lot of years now since I have had a seizure but I still wake up sometimes in bed trying to fight off having one. I cant sleep in a dark room or close my eyes if its happening I have to have some light to focus on. There are more details which are hard to explain and I don’t want to make this story any longer then it is. This is the first time I’m putting my story out there. Only close friends know and I’m worried if these episodes I have will continue in my life or can I eventually get over them with time? what can I do for myself, do I see a doctor? I’m still not comfortable with that I don’t know how to bring it up. I’ve quit those drugs only alcohol and pot are sometimes in my life. I need some help or insight please, or direct me to the right person who can deal with this issue of mine. Thank you so very much for your time.

    Reply
  16. Mae

     /  November 2, 2013

    Last Tuesday, I took one and a half rolls of X with my love, as we were coming down I kept smoking synthetic marijuana. He smokes it all the time, I rarely touch it. So he didn’t think anything of it. He thought it was the rolls that did that to me. Although it was his first time rolling, I’ve rolled numerous times in my past. Anyways, by the time the roll was ending and the synthetic weed started kicking in…I could feel that something was seriously wrong, I thought I was just fading out but that if I closed my eyes I was going to be dead. That was around the time I blacked out. Apparently, I shot straight up on the bed holding my chest and my pulse in my neck, having not been able to speak a word. He saw that I felt like everything was fading away from me and I had tried to dive out the second story window. After breaking through the first layer of glass, he grabbed me and I fell to the ground convulsing. I can faintly remember moments between each convulsion. All I can remember was that I was about to die, that something was wrong. I couldn’t hear him, I couldn’t speak. He had no idea what I needed or what was going on. He said it looked like a demon was trying to come out of me. I was bouncing all over the place with my eyes wide open and my pupils dilated with zero color, foaming from the mouth. I can remember between each episode, trying to get outside to cool off. I must have convulsed on the stairs b/c I dove from the top stair down 16 steps head first to the bottom steps, flailed around at the bottom, then got up like nothing happened and ran outside. I made it outside, naked. I remember running around in a circle trying to “fix” myself. I just wanted to be able to breathe. I guess I fell to the ground and convulsed again. He got me back inside, and yet again I was on the ground again. I finally made it to the bathroom, I was able to point to the water and he figured out to turn it on cold. I remember laying under the cold water, thinking again I was going to die and to try and hold on until the paramedics got there, and I convulsed again…only I could remember that one, my legs and arms flailing and my head knocking between each edge of the bathtub and my fiance trying to hold me down, I had no control. The paramedics finally got there and I still couldn’t move or speak. They said my pupils were unresponsive and fully dilated. The hospital is 40 minutes away, I was finally able to speak 5 minutes away from the hospital. They got my heart rate and blood pressure stabilized and discharged me 5 hours later. They did no tests on me, just an IV, albuterol, and a heart test. My fiance said I had a total of 7 possibly 8 seizures within 35 minutes. Was I dead if I didn’t get under that cold water? Was it just a really bad trip off the synthetic weed, were they really seizures? I have no background of seizures that I’m aware of. I’ve mixed numerous drugs in the past. From your replies, I’m also more prone to more seizures now in the future? I’m definitely not wanting the synthetic weed now or ever but am curious to solve this mystery. Thank you.

    Reply
  17. krista

     /  October 16, 2013

    About 3 or 4 yrs ago, I overdosed on heroin. I shot up on a friend’s bed and laid back to enjoy the high. I heard what was going in around me and felt like my friend kept smacking me in the face to make me come to. My friend’s boyfriend shot me up with suboxin to counteract the overdose and i came to. My friend said I was seizing and my lips turned blue. I never went to see a doctor because I was doing drugs and didn’t want to get caught. I’ve always wondered if that seizure could cause me problems later down the road. I have chronic migraines and neck tension and don’t know if the seizure had anything to do with making them worse. As a teenager, I did all uppers (meth) but I swapped to heroin and that’s when things went south. I’ve been sober now for 3 or 4 yrs. I’ll never become a slave to heroin again.

    Reply
    • Hi, thanks for your message. Yes, it can be a really traumatic thing to go through, and not something you forget easily either. Can you find out ( if pu still see those friends) whether you had convulsions and/or a seized up body and not just a seized up mouth and jaw area? Its just that grand mal seizures ( which they usually are when occurring at the same time as overdoses – as opposed to petite mal, the other sort) are accompanied by your entire body seizing up, sometimes frothing at the mouth, and usually some convulsing of body areas- or whole body. It last for a few minutes. I say this because I believe it is possible to have, when in midst of overdose, a very milder kind of seizing up of muscles, often jaw and throat area, but which relax as soon as air gets back in the lungs thru mouth to mouth or recovery etc. If you can find answers to exactly what jappened, you will know then whether it was a seizure with OD, or OD alone (which very often involve involuntary muscle tightening but that isn’t from a grand mal seizure, and sonothing to worry about long term.
      The next thing I wud say to answer ur question, is that neck problems may be triggering your migraines (but again I’m no doctor) if there is a trapped nerve going on, it might be worth gettong gentle chinese massage
      or trying acupuncture. It can have surprising results. I’m sure you’ve tried using beta blockers? As preventative measure, it shows highdegrees of success for many migraine sufferers and they are very easy to tolerate. Re a seizure making migraines worse, i’m afraid you’d have to ask a neurologist that one, but if u are worried there are many forums where you can engage doctors in questions like this and who shud gve u some answers. My personal opinion is that it is unlikely,from just one, and is more likely to be from tension emanating from your neck//trapped nerve. Sometimes years of amphetamine use can mean a lot of bodily tension builds up and we doont expell properly and so it can build up in solidlumps, esp around neck, shoulders, jaw, legs. You might have picked up
      some bodily positions from that time that are still with u to some extent, which pushes other muscles to compensate, wrongly. This can end up pressing on nerves or creat inflammation. Lastly, yess having a seizure will have lowered your ‘seizure threshold’ so remain mindful the next time u are overindulging and take extra care by eating plenty before partying, make time to sleep (pace ypurself by napping and getting quiet time) protect yourself – even more so if you have been feeling mentally or physically drained as these are often the basis to start chipping away at your threshold. Maturity in drug use often helps u really appreciate the benefits of pacing yourself, after all there is no real joy in being comatosed, ending up legless in a bush, or with ur head down the toilet all nite! Eat, rest, pace your drugs, always know your source Nd get to understand what drugs don’t agree with you and avoid them. Its not worth the trouble. Good luck on your road ahead and stick with what good for you, you know it deep down aye?! In solidarity, BPxx

      Reply
  18. Hannah Marie Price

     /  October 7, 2013

    Hello, I am 17 and when I was 15 I overdosed on my friends anti epileptic pills, trying to commit suicide. Long story short, I went to many hospitals and ended up in a therapeutic boarding school. I just recently got out. For the past year, my eyes randomly look up- while I’m conscious – and I can’t look down but for a second or two. And sometimes I ”zone out” randomly. And completely stop paying attention to whats going on. Could I be having seizures? Or is this something a specialist needs to check out?

    Reply
  19. Bethan

     /  August 4, 2013

    Hi, I’m an 18 year old female, I’ve taken various stimulants over the last few years. On Thursday around 2pm I took some amphetamine and I carried on taking it at regular intervals until Saturday 3am. I ate one meal in this time (chicken and rice). I also drank alcohol. I went to sleep and then when I woke up about 6am, I still felt off my face and wasn’t ‘normal’ at all’, but I wasn’t able to sleep for more than that. Later that day, I was at a theme park and I went on a ride. When I got on the ride, my eye’s started going blurry and I couldn’t see properly and then whilst on the ride (going upside down and being swung side to side, very high up), I just kept having a strange feeling like i was half concious/half not and then I can’t remember anything. The next thing I’m aware of is I’m off the ride and my mum/first aided are holding me up and I got really agitated that they were touching me and I had a sit down and some water and a biscuit. My mum said I just slumped in the seat and then my arms and legs started shaking/convulsing when I was on the ride. I think it was one of those tonic-clonic seizures? I bit my tongue, my lips/arms turned a blue-ish colour and I also wet myself. I read about causes of seizures, drug use, stress, sleep deprivation, mal-nurtition and strobe lighting etc (the lights on the ride may have been like that).
    I have gone longer than that (36 hours) without sleep/food but it was when I was taking a different drug, not amphetamine. Definately not going to be taking loads of speed anytime soon, and if I did I’ll definately eat and not stay awake a stupid amount of hours. I was just wondering weather or not I should go to the doctors? Could there also be anything underlying and that the drugs/no sleep/mal-nutrition triggered it? Would you advise going to the doctors or just being careful with the drug use etc in future?
    Thanks in advance :)

    Reply
    • Dear Bethan,

      Wow, I really admire your insight and at such a young age! Well done for thinking seriously about what happened and doing some research; seizures are serious -they are hard work for your brain, and it is essential you make sure your think about – and write down or tell a close friend/parent what exactly happened.
      Re your questions;
      1) yes, considering this was your FIRST tonic clonic seizure (sounds classic) -it is essential you see the doc and rule out any other conditions that may have triggered this. You may need an MRI, or to see a neurologist, or even if it is a case of money (lack of -or not wanting to let your insurer know the details of what might have caused it -they may penalise you in the future re fees etc -depending where you live) -you could even get hold of an epilepsy forum/helpline/group etc which could offer some really helpful and free advice.

      I didnt ever get an MRI when i had my first seizure – just got judged harshly by the A&E team and had my stomach pumped out and was sent home in shock. However I would at least get a series of bloods done and a check up by a Dr. It is important there is nothing underlying this.

      2) -Personally (and please Im no Dr, but have a great deal of interest, knowledge and experience of seizures), I would make a note of what happened in the days leading up to the seizure. It sounds like a classic case of pushing your body too hard too the point of exhaustion, you may have been dehydrated as well, low electrolites, low blood pressure from fatigue and hunger…All together, with days awake and amphetamines on top -it sounds like a classic seizure. If you had stayed in bed, even if you had woken up and couldnt sleep, but eaten something, drank milk -re stocked up on B vitamins (keep some handy to take when you are pushing your nervous system – especially after menstruation) -B12 especially. Electrolites you can buy at chemist in sachets -they are brilliant for instantly bringing up low levels of salts and important things your body needs and lacks when exhausted and hungry. Keep yourself a pre and post party care pack -and use it. The point is – once you have had your first seizure -your body is more suseptible to them -and the next one could occur in similar circumstances if you cane it the same way again. You gotta eat something – even if you can only manage smoothies, yogurts, ice cream, soups, water, juices, vegie juices are FAB, fruit salad with ice cream or yogurt. All easy to digest – but you can just forget. Dont. And you seem like someone who could really educate your pals as well -your brain is developing still until your 25 or so -its easy to hit the limit before you realise. Remember that a healthy body that is stoned, has more fun than a sickly person who is stoned. Make a pact with your buddies to care for each other – and show them all what to do if ANY of you has a seizure; many folk freak out with their pal convulsing -its very frightening (look at youtube for examples) -and its essential you have calmness around you when you wake up. The first aider and your mum should really of had you lieing down in the recovery position somewhere very quiet with the first face and voice you were to hear should have been only your mums. talking to you gently, softly, protectively. I wouldnt advise having a benzodiazepine on standby at your age as you have the chance to avoid these occuring again. They happen from ANY drug, even opiates. It is about TOXICITY levels, and an exhausted / vulnerable body. Your amazing for your insight -develop it -seek out harm reduction measures, tell your mates, look after each other. Much love and respect,
      BP x

      Reply
  20. Britt

     /  April 21, 2013

    Yes. I just got back from the hospital because my friend gets them constantly when he smikes or even does lines now. It never ysed to be that bad. His seizer t gh is tim lasted 8 minutes, he didnt become conscience for 20 min and toom 3 hours to start remembering the date, ect.

    Reply
    • Hi Britt, apologies for the delay -but we have added quite a bit to the comments section lately that your friend may find useful. As long as he doesnt use very regularly, he may benefit from taking a 5 or 10mg benzodiazipine BEFORE he smokes any stimulants. However benzos are addictive so it wont help him if he is using every day as he will end up with 2 habits. And, interestingly benzo withdrawal can actually CAUSE seizures so it is essential that this kind of help is only occasional, on days when he thinks he may be susceptible. It is dangerous to keep having seizures so he needs to find a way to reduce this risk. As mentioned – noting down -and then avoiding his ‘triggers’, having a few benzos handy, friends such as yourself knowing what to do when he gets one. Your description is typicalof a grand-mal seizure however it does sound like a very big one, and 8 minutes is too long and worthy of an ambulance – you did the right thing. Good luck and let him know he can write to us here,
      best of luck, BPx

      Reply
  21. Lacey

     /  April 12, 2013

    HI Im 14 and i smoked Cocaine (crack) and had a Grand Mal i also did it again and nothing happened Will it happen again if i try it again? Im not scared of dying either i poroably will OD on purpose I WANT to die my life sucks ass!!

    Reply
    • Hey Lacie, sorry for delay. I too had a seizure when i was 14, i took a trip and fell off a bed and banged my head and had a seizure. scared the shit outa me, but not enough to stop using drugs. I didnt have another til i was about 17 or 18 from too many downer type tablets and heroin, and then, throughout my 20’s i just seemed to get the mmore and more, anytime i was trying to push the boundaries when my body was fragile. Eventually it got to the stage when Id have one if I just woke up in the morning and had a reasonably sized heroin injection. However I got to know my ‘triggers; and gained more control, had a benzo when i felt very fragile as it was these occaisions when an injection etc would push me opver the edge. eventually i was able to avoid them, despite ccontinuing to use drugs -i just got more knowledgable about myself, the drugs i was taking and their effects and was able to make safer decisions, to the great releif of me and those who love me! As bad as things feel now Lacie -please hang it there – things will pass -all shitty feelings are a phase and you WILL pass through it. But you MUST try and protect your body -especially at your delicate age where the brain is still forming and you are still very vulnerable. Pushing onesself to extremes can end up in some very very tragic situations – death might feel preferable sometimes when things are really bad, but throwing caution to the wind could just mean you end up paralysed from a drug induced accident, brain damaged, burnt by laboratory accidents, in prison via some horrible mix up or accident, etc etc etc. believe me,it happens every day. Somehow you have got to find a balence, moderate your drug use if you dont want to stop using, keep your friends close, support each other in your drug use, make a pact that you will always help each other and not let each other down in a crisis. All these things can help. Hang in there Lacie, being 14 sucks for most people, but it does get better. You have the best experiences of your life still to come!! The times you will have in your teens and twenties will be the best ever -look forward to all that, you deserve a life kiddo! Do write again if you wana chat, Much love and respect, BP xx

      Reply
  22. grace

     /  March 23, 2013

    my 28 yr old daughter has taken 3 drug overdoses in 30 days to try and kill herself this last time she had some real bad seizures in the er and her heart rate was 208 it scared the hell out of me she is now in mental health place will she have more seizures now that she had one? she said her hand writing is not the same now is that normal?

    Reply
    • Hi Grace, Im sorry for the delay it must have been a terrifying time for you all. A lot of what triggers seizures in drug users is basically hitting what is called ‘ a seizure threshold’. Everyone has one and the toxicity levels that are reached when using drugs vary from person to person but it appears seizures will occur when a person hits what is essentially a toxic overload -or days of ‘overkill’ ie – pushing your body over days to its limits. It is essential, if you are having seizures that are connected to your drug use ie that you get a seizure in the hours or minutes after using drugs, that you look very closely at the drugs you are using, and what you are doing in the hours and days leading up to it, and whether you get any feelings, ‘auras’ or warnings before hand. It is important that you get to now what your triggers are, and to keep with you one or two 5-10mg benzodiazipine (ie like clobazam or valium) that you should take on the days you are feeling very fragile. This of course wont help you when you, as in your daughters case, has taken a large/overdose amount of drugs. It is important she knows that self induced overdoses very often can trigger a seizure as the brain reaches toxicity levels -and seizures im afraid can kill. It is a type of brain damage so people who consistently get seizures may find they lose some memory or other functions. But saying that Im not sure why she cant write, it maybe that you need to look this up – there is a great deal of information out there on seizures, less on drug induced seizures although the results are very similar. Again tho, i should stress that the more you have seizures (grand mal is usually the type to be associated with drug use) the more you become suseptible to having another, so if you can find a way to avoid them either through not using in the same way any more (being much more careful and knowing your ‘triggers’ (like heavy alcohol, opiates or coke use, or injecting etc) and then heading a seizure off at the pass by a benzo when you feel overly fragile, you can turn things around and start to have large gaps of time in between seizures – the longer the better. Most of us grow out of them as we age into our late 30’s and 40’s. Regarding your daughter – and please, we are not Drs here, but if her seizures were directly related to her ODs, then it is unlikely she will get them again when just living normally. However if she is a regular drug user – she MAY find her ‘seizure threshold’ has dropped somewhat and it is a bit easier for her to now experience a seizure when using drugs again. I recommend doing research, having a couple of benzodiazipines handy (this is exactly what they give you in hospital during a seizure and to help avoid them) and I would say (tho again im not a dr -that her handwriting will come back to normal -if it doesnt she may well need a neurological exam. ALWAYS call an ambulance for 1st time seizures and those which last more than 4or5 minutes AND especially those which happen repeatedly one after the other – these are the most dangerous and can be fatal. It is also crucial to learn what to do when someone has a seizure so you can help and prevent further problems. We wish you the very best and do let your daughter know we are here if she wants to write in,
      Erin and BP x

      Reply
  23. Tom

     /  December 3, 2012

    Hi I don’t normally take drugs but on the week end I took 8 ecstasy pills and 4 lines of meow I was just really fucked then the next night I woke up in the middle of the night and had a fit its the frist time this has ever happened, I have just turned 17 as well I was just wondering if I need to worrie ?

    Reply
    • HI,
      First please let me apologise for the delay in responding. We try to answer on the blog but it isnt always instant. Did you have a look at our page on drug induced seizures? If you go to our home page on this blog, click ‘A-Z of Health’ and under that you will see an article entitled ‘Drug Induced Seizures’. It seems every person has a ‘seizure threshold’ -and at the age of 17 -you can be very vulnerable to finding out just where your ‘threshold or limit’ is. First tho, it is important to see your DR – to check out nothing else is going on like epilepsy, for example or an illness or disease. But by the sounds of it it sounds (but please we are NOT doctors) like overkill. Too many drugs, crazy nite/s out, little food probably, pushing it with the stimulants. Perfect set up for a seizure. But PLEASE read the article – because once they have started up – you do become more susceptible, so you have to learn to listen to your body, get to recognise your limits, and tell your friends what to do if you or each other do fit from overkill. good luck and please dont hesitate to reply. take it easy. Make sure you EAT BEFORE you go out. Dont take E after E after E. Read up on some E article especially about dose. The more you take – well it dont work as great and neurologically speaking, your brain prefers less xtc and much more spread out over an evening. IT has happened to me to so i feel your pain. 2mg or 5mg of valium is an excellent way to head off a seizure if your feeling fragile – but NOT after drinking or opiates if you dont know WELL your tolerance. Good luck friend.

      Reply
      • gwlees

         /  March 25, 2013

        So nice and wise of you to give advice on how to take drugs “better”….keep up the good work! :(

      • lisa

         /  December 12, 2013

        Hello.
        ive takin up to 20+ eccies in 9ne night no seizier. Shot up speed and after the second night of no sleep or food my hands start contracting, I had no idea what was going on but I had a big drink of water and forced down a piece of bread and it went away. It also happened after a massive nite on the grog but as soon as I had a feed and relaxed it went away. Quite recently I had a big nite, I shot up speed and tried cocain, (and had a lot), the next day my hands, arms and legs went all stiff tight and contracted, I tried to stay calm, tried to walk around a bit, my hubby got me some food and water (as hard as it was to eat) it worked, not doin coke anymore as I think it is worse for me then speed. Was def from over indulging without food or water.

  24. Concerned

     /  November 16, 2012

    Hi I have a boyfriend who has just now started back on heroine and I’m really worried about him bc he had a seizure the night after he did it … Is it possible that that’s what caused it ?

    Reply
  25. Hello, I am a seventeen year old male who overdosed on Tramadol (opiate) and had a Grand Mal seizure. Will I have one again with no drug use? I am very frightened for my future, please reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Austin, im so very sorry for the late reply, I really am. I understand how scary it is, ive been through the process myself. Firstly you need to have an MRI or brain scan just to see if you have actual epilepsy. Its important to know this. BUT it could certainly be from the tramadol -using constantly over a period of a fair few months and sometimes just not eating, sleeping, using a lot of downers so you blood pressure really drops to low …learn to know what ‘triggers’ the. Write down what happened the few days before it happened. Also, you can be prescribed short acting (I think?) benzos, and they are very useful whenever you feel fragile like you might have a seizure. Dont go mad of course but just 5 – 10 mg would do it, once or twice a day. Now the less seizures you have, the less you will begin to have so it seems. So the more you dont look after yourself kinda thing, and the more fits you have (sometimes they become directly connected to fixing – stimulants or depressants -one can get very susceptible to them; dont leave it – as for micro doses of benzos -say you dont want anything like phenobarbitone that are way to strong and are not for you if you dont have diagnosed epilepsy etc. Write down your triggers, and head the seizures off at the pass with a muscle relaxant like a type of valium etc. so sorry for delay, let us know how you got on. in Solidarity,
      BPx

      Reply
  26. Mark

     /  February 26, 2012

    can u experience an aura for 2hr before having a seizure

    Reply
    • Hi, Im so sorry to reply so late, I actually replied earlier but it got stuck in my phone! Grr! Anyway, re your question…Auras usually happen seconds before a seizure, perhaps a couple of minutes at most, and from what I have researched you could also have one hours before a seizure and you can certainly ‘feel’ very vulnerable or afraid; Seizures that happen to people who use drugs could be from a lot of reasons as our article suggests, and although auras tend to happen more to people who get partial seizures, they can happen to drug users too. Feelings of de ja vu, fear, vulnerability etc could also due to other things like perhaps lowered blood pressure, (perhaps from lack of sleep, a lot of opiates, lack of food, vitamins, or after days on stimulants, etc). It could be more to do with recognising your ‘triggers’. What was happening in the hours before your ‘aura’. were you under the same or similar sort of strains you were when you had your last aura or seizure? It is interesting also that auras will also happen in the same order each time, so they get to be recognisable and it is important to recognise them to help you ensure you get somewhere safe, or to alert you to taking meds. A valium or benzodiazipine can be a terrific tablet to have for the drug user that gets the occaisional seizure as it can effectively head it off at the pass. (Note that benzos have a high addiction potential and so should be used with real caution). Please know however, Im not a doctor however we do try and research things very comprehensively. If you know of anything different however, we are always keen to hear more. Thanks for writing. here is some more interesting info on auras; http://www.epilepsy.com/EPILEPSY/AURAS

      Reply
  1. Chris Brown seizure, what caused it? | Celebrity Feast
  2. Drug Induced Seizures « Black Poppy's Junk Mail

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