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Smoking, Drugs & Alcohol

It can be impotant to think about the impact of alcohol, smoking and drugs on your health. 

Having epilepsy doesn't mean that you aren't able to drink alcohol. In small amounts alcohol hasn't been shown to increase seizures, however moderate to heavy drinking can both increase risk of seizures in those who have epilepsy and those who don't. You are most likely to have a seizure 6-48 hrs after you have stopped drinking alcohol. Drinking can also increase the chances of you forgetting to take medication. You can read more about alcohol and epilepsy here.

Smoking and drugs have an impact on your health even if you don't have a health condition but it can be particularly important to think about and know the risks if you have epilepsy. Smoking is known to have a negative impact one the body both short and long term.  While there is no evidence that smoking increases seizures if you have epilepsy, you are at possible increased risk of burns and causing a fire from having a seizure while smoking. Talk to your nurse if you currently smoke but would like support stopping.

Recreational drugs, both those that are illegal and legal highs can have a more significant impact on your epilepsy. They may be more likely to make you have seizures or may interact with your medication causing it to stop working or giving you unwanted side effects. As there is no control over the manufacture of many recreational drugs it is not possible to know what they contain often which can increase risk to your health.