Seizures represent a sudden flow of electrical activity in the brain which affects certain parts of the body or the entire body. Seizures are a part of a condition called epilepsy. They may, however, develop as a symptom of other illnesses such as brain tumors or develop as a complication of head trauma and brain injuries.
Drug addiction is associated with many health issues and additional social and economical problems. As far as health is concerned, in some individuals drug abuse may be a trigger of seizures. It is also possible that sudden drug discontinuation in case the addiction has already developed initiates seizures. All in all, there is a connection between abuse of certain substance ans seizures.
Seizures and Drug Abuse
People who are already confirmed to suffer from epilepsy as well as those with other illnesses in whom seizures occur but are brought under control with antiepileptic drugs must be very careful when taking certain substances, not to mention developing addiction. Antiepileptic medications patients are taking may interact with taken substances and easily induce seizures.
Illicit Drugs and Seizures
Cocaine is a very potent drug when it comes to seizures. It can trigger seizures easily even within seconds after being taken. Seizures associated with cocaine abuse are severe and may additionally contribute to heart attack, arrhythmia and sudden death. It is essential to memorize that seizures associated with use of cocaine may occur even in individuals who have never had seizures before.
Amphetamines and similar stimulants are also potential triggers of seizures but only if they are abused. People who take amphetamines may easily forget to take their seizure medicine because of euphoria caused by the illicit drug. If an antiepileptic drug is not taken on time, the chance of seizures increases significantly. Some researchers have confirmed that long-term use of stimulants cause severe damage to the brain and may, at some point, be blamed for the onset of seizures.
THC, the active ingredient of marijuana has both anti-seizure as well as seizure-provoking properties. Because of that, marijuana is forbidden for individuals suffering from seizures. Also, continuous use of marijuana and its abrupt cessation may initiate seizures in previously healthy individuals.
Heroin as well as related narcotic-drugs are not capable of initiating seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. However, it is possible for them and even healthy individuals to develop seizures in case of taking huge amounts of narcotics because they cause severe oxygen deprivation to the brain, a powerful trigger of seizures.
Nicotine and Caffeine and Seizures
Even though nicotine and caffeine use is allowed, these two legal drugs seem not to have any connection with the onset of seizures. It is hard to tell whether consumption of large amounts of products containing caffeine may initiate seizures. Nicotine is, however, a potential precipitant of seizures.