Alcohol / Substance abuse and Epilepsy
Taken in moderation drinking beer and spirits can be pleasurable and relatively harmless. It is the abuse of alcohol which causes the trouble.
Virtually all young people are introduced to alcohol before reaching the age where they can legally buy it themselves. It is essential, therefore, that young and inexperienced people who have epilepsy are aware of the particular dangers of excessive use of alcohol in relation to their medical condition.
Since epilepsy results from a malfunction of the brain it is fairly obvious that the introduction of a substance that, in any event, affects normal brain function, causes an increase in seizures. It has to be remembered also that alcohol is not the only foreign substance reaching the brain, there is also the antiepileptic drug which is specifically designed to influence the workings of the brain.
In reality, social drinking in moderation will not affect those with epilepsy any more than others who have never had a seizure in their lives. A glass of wine with a meal or a quiet drink with family and friends should do no harm at all.
It is not only important for people with epilepsy to be aware of particular problems of alcohol in relation to their condition but their friends must have responsible attitudes as well.