Can Seizures Be Caused by Alcohol?

Seizures are a sudden activity in the brain that can cause you to lose consciousness, can cause uncontrolled and jerky movements, can cause your muscles to stiffen, or can even just cause one to zone-out/star with a fixed gaze.

There are different types of seizures and they can have different symptoms/effects. Some seizures are more severe than other types, but any seizure can be quite a frightening event, both to the person experiencing it and to those around them.

Can Alcohol Cause Seizures?

Yes, alcohol can cause seizures.

Alcohol affects the brain’s neurotransmitter systems in a number of ways, and prolonged use can lead to changes in the brain’s chemistry. A dependency on alcohol means that the brain and body are expecting a certain amount of alcohol on a regular basis, and ceasing alcohol can cause health issues which is why alcoholics should be medically supervised when they’re quitting.

It can be dangerous to just stop drinking cold turkey, which is very unfortunate, since it prevents a lot of people from stopping or seeking treatment for their alcoholism.

In this case, it’s the lack of alcohol that technically causes the seizure, because the body has become dependent on alcohol. Someone can also experience a seizure by drinking too much and overwhelming their body/blacking out.

Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures

Alcohol withdrawal seizures usually occur within 6 to 48 hours after the last drink for people who consume a lot of alcohol on a regular basis, but they can happen later, too, in some cases so if a seizure occurs after 48 hours, you can’t necessarily assume it has nothing to do with alcohol. You should be seeking medical care after a seizure, regardless.

These seizures are typically generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which involve the entire body and can be quite severe. However, in some individuals, alcohol withdrawal may lead to other types of seizures, such as focal seizures.

It’s important to remember that alcohol withdrawal seizures can be life-threatening, especially if they are not properly managed.

Seeking medical attention is crucial if you or someone else experiences seizures during alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal is a very difficult hurdle to overcome, but it also can be a powerful tool in helping people decide to never drink again once you’ve gone through the withdrawal. Fear of the withdrawals might prevent some people from stopping drinking, but it can also discourage people from drinking again once they’ve been through it.

Category: Addiction
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.