What to Do If You Have a Seizure During Detox
At Addiction Helper, we constantly tell people not to attempt detoxing on their own. We tell them that regardless of whether they are detoxing from alcohol, illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, or legal highs. Addiction detox is considered a medical emergency requiring expert medical care.
When it comes to alcohol, benzodiazepines and a handful of other drugs, there are three withdrawal symptoms that can lead to potentially fatal grand mal seizures. They are:
- elevated blood pressure
- elevated heart rate
- erratic electrical impulses in the brain.
These grand mal seizures pose the greatest risk of fatality or serious injury during detox. And unfortunately, if you are detoxing alone there is nothing you can do in the midst of a seizure. You will not even know you are having a seizure while it’s going on.
Assuming you are lucky enough to recognise you have had a seizure, you must not wait to seek emergency medical attention. If you can have one seizure, you can have two. Moreover, your next seizure might be the one that kills you. Any signs of seizure should prompt you to immediately go to a hospital for help. Otherwise, call for help on the phone.
Independent Home Detox
Some people choose to undergo independent home detox with the help of a friend or relative. And while this choice is not as safe as medically supervised detox, it is certainly better than detoxing alone. Before beginning the process, you and your helper need to thoroughly research the specific substances you are detoxing from – including all of the potential withdrawal symptoms.
Throughout detox, your friend or relative should remain at your side in order to monitor your progress and physical condition. At the first signs of a fit or seizure, that individual must spring into action to get you immediate help. Again, we cannot overstate the fact that seizures during detox can be fatal.
Knowing this, the person you choose to help you through must be someone who is not easily frightened or shocked. It will not do any good if that individual is so shocked by a grand mal seizure that he or she cannot respond quickly. You can go one step further by enlisting the help of someone with basic first aid training.
Professional Clinical Detox
For the safest detox possible, your best bet is always to enlist the help of medical professionals in either an inpatient or outpatient setting. Let us talk about both of these settings as they relate to detox seizures.
If you use outpatient detox, you will be visiting a clinic or hospital every day during your programme. These daily visits allow doctors or nurses to monitor your progress and look for warning signs of potentially dangerous situations. They are also able to administer prescription medication at the same time.
If the medical exam reveals the risk of possible grand mal seizures, you might be directed to check into a hospital or private clinic for your own safety. Do yourself a favour and follow the instructions you are given. Why risk a potentially fatal seizure by returning home?
Should you undergo inpatient detox, you will actually be living at the facility for the duration. This is the safest way to undergo detox because medical professionals are present 24 hours a day, every day. Someone will be assigned to check on you on a regular basis as well.
The inherent safety of medically supervised detox in a private clinic is the primary reason we recommend clients choose this option. As we said before, detox is considered a medical emergency. It does not seem reasonable to risk your health and well-being by undergoing detox in any other setting.
What You Need to Know about Grand Mal Seizures
Grand mal seizures get their name from the fact that they are generalised seizures involving the entire brain. Two phases of the grand mal seizure are easily recognised.
The first phase is the tonic phase and can last as long as 20 seconds. It is characterised by loss of consciousness and sudden muscle stiffness that causes the individual to collapse. The second phase is known as the clonic phase. It is characterised by involuntary convulsions that can last for up to two minutes.
There are several dangers associated with grand mal seizures that can lead to serious injury or death. For example, if the addict is sitting in a chair when the seizure begins, a sudden fall could cause a brain or spinal injury should the person strike his or her head on the way down.
Another potential problem comes by way of choking hazard. The addict who suddenly goes into convulsions could swallow his or her own tongue or suffocate should the seizure include vomiting. In rare instances, a seizure could lead to a more serious condition such as a heart attack.
Please Seek Professional Help
Addiction Helper specialises in locating and arranging medically supervised detox for addicts using all types of substances. We can also arrange for a long-term rehab and aftercare programme as well. Whatever is in your best interests is what we hope to arrange on your behalf.
Please consider what we have written here in regards to seizures and detox; please consider getting professional help rather than trying to detox on your own. Between the NHS, private clinics, and alcohol and drug charities, there are enough resources out there to provide you safe and controlled detox options. Most of them are more affordable than you think. Detox through the NHS is even free if you cannot afford private care.
Our addiction recovery specialists are standing by to speak with you at a moment’s notice. All you need do is pick up the phone and call or send us an e-mail. We will respond as quickly as we can. Remember that our number one goal is to ensure you get the help you need in a timely fashion. Moreover, all of our services are confidential and free. You have nothing to lose by getting in touch with us.