Prevalence of recreational substance use in patients presenting with seizures to a tertiary care hospital

Link to article at PubMed

Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Dec;125:108419. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.108419. Epub 2021 Nov 24.


RATIONALE: Recreational substance use (RSU) has been associated with seizure. There is limited knowledge on prevalence of seizures in patients with concomitant RSU in U.S. Thus, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of concomitant RSU in patients with seizures at a university based tertiary healthcare system.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study from 01/01/2013 to 02/28/2021. Data from patient cohort explorer (a de-identified database) were used to select patients with seizure and a positive drug test (either urine or serum) obtained during the same encounter. The prevalence of RSU for individual substance was reported as percentage of number of encounters.

RESULTS: There were 226,613 encounters with seizure(s) for a total of 40,459 subjects. Of the total, 5787 (2.5%) encounters with 4,342 subjects concomitantly tested positive for RSU. Mean age was 40.1 (±16.9) years, 58.4% were males, 59.1% were African Americans, and 38.3% were Caucasians. Gender and race of subjects with concomitant RSU for individual drug class was studied for all age groups and for subjects older than 16 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the most common concomitantly positively tested RSU during seizure encounters was cannabinoid (40.7%) followed by benzodiazepine (38.7%). There was a higher proportion of males' encounters with concomitant seizure and RSU regardless of type of drug class. Amphetamine use was more common in Caucasians, while the remaining studied RSU were more common in African Americans. Similar trends were seen in the subgroup of subjects older than 16 years.

PMID:34837845 | DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2021.108419

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