Paint Thinner Abuse and Why Paint Thinner Addiction Treatment is Necessary

Inhalants are a group of substances that are getting a lot of attention from the media these days because of their growing popularity among those looking for a way to get high.

Among these substances are paint thinners, which have shown to be very effective when used for this purpose. Paint thinners provide abusers with an easy way to obtain a substance when using other types of drugs or alcohol is not an option. For this reason, Inhalants like paint thinners are quite popular with older children and teenagers. In fact, many kids can find them right in their parents’ homes or garages.

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What is Paint Thinner?

What is Paint Thinner?

According to Wikipedia, paint thinner is a solvent that is used to thin out oil-based products. It is also used to clean up after they have been used. There are several products on the market that can be used as paint thinners. Among them are:

  • Toluene
  • Acetone
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Turpentine
  • Naphtha

The site warns that being exposed to the vapors from these products may be hazardous. People using them need to do so with extreme caution.

The two primary ingredients in paint thinners are toluene and xylene, and these are also found in spray paints and glues that are used for model cars and planes. Using paint thinners can cause a great deal of harm, both to the body, as well as to the brain. However, because they're not what you would consider a “traditional” drug, most parents think about or take the time to talk with their kids about them.

If you're abusing paint thinners, or if you're a parent who is concerned that your child may be abusing them, understanding the consequences of paint thinner abuse can help you. Paint thinner addiction treatment is available to address the addictive nature of this chemical and help you recover.

Why do People Abuse Paint Thinner?

Paint Thinner Abuse: Why is it so Attractive?

The human brain responds to the chemicals xylene and toluene similarly to the way it responds to alcohol. The result is a flood of dopamine in the brain, and users experience a euphoric feeling that gives them an incredible high. Among the two chemicals, toluene acts very quickly, and as a result, some immediate side effects are often experienced.

Using Paint Thinner

Using paint thinners is relatively easy. People use them by either soaking a cloth with them and inhaling the vapers, or they may put them into a bag and inhale them that way. The latter method is extremely dangerous because the fumes are so heavily concentrated. Depending on the method that’s being used, paint thinners can result in a fairly long lasting high.


What is Huffing?

The term huffing means inhaling a substance through the mouth or nose. Many of the more commonly huffed drugs are household products, and paint thinner is just one example.

Paint Thinner Addiction Information

Why is Paint Thinner Addiction Treatment Necessary?

Paint thinner addiction treatment is necessary for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s not uncommon for those abusing paint thinners to eventually move on to other drugs. In that way, it is a gateway drug. Addiction treatment is also necessary for paint thinner abuse because of the potential of devastating results after even just one use. Toluene and xylene are very powerful, potent chemicals, and people have reported:

  • Terrible, ongoing headaches
  • A reduction in inhibitions
  • Slurred speech
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Problems with their vision

If not stopped appropriately and quickly, paint thinner abuse can also lead to more serious problems, including coma, paralysis, or even death.


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Paint Thinner Symptoms

Paint Thinner Addiction Symptoms and Behaviors

Perhaps you’re a parent and you’re concerned about whether or not your child has been using paint thinners. It’s possible that you’ve even been using them because you weren’t able to obtain other drugs due to financial reasons. Paint thinner addiction behaviors and symptoms can include:

  • Problems with walking or staggering
  • Trouble sleeping, including insomnia
  • Heart and lung damage
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Asphyxiation
  • Constant fatigue

It’s clear that paint thinners are very dangerous, and the risks associated with using them even one time are very prominent. Stopping them might not be easy, but it’s not impossible as long as you have the proper level of support.

How do I Know if My Child is Using Paint Thinners or Other Inhalants?

As a parent, it's natural to be concerned about your child using a drug like paint thinners. However, if you're not careful, you could miss the signs that they're using them. You may begin to notice your child demonstrating any of the following:

  • Appearing drunk with slurred speech
  • Seeming disoriented
  • Easily nauseated
  • No interest in food
  • Widely dilated pupils
  • Impaired judgment and taking dangerous risks

In the short term, you may notice that your child always has a runny or red nose. Your teen may sweat a lot or have rashes or sores around the mouth or nose. Their skin may appear to be very pale and you may even notice that they're having hallucinations.

It's a scary realization to find that your teenager has been huffing paint thinners. If you're vigilant, you may be able to notice the abuse of them before it gets too far.

Paint Thinner Withdrawal

Paint Thinner Withdrawal: Are You at Risk?

Fortunately, there are no documented physical symptoms of paint thinner withdrawal. However, that does not mean that stopping them abruptly doesn’t have its risks. The psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with using paint thinners are, indeed, very real, and they’re the reason why so many people go back to using when they try to quit on their own.

Some common paint thinner withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Increasing anxiety or panic attacks
  • Increasing symptoms of depression
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Intense cravings for paint thinners
  • Occasional hallucinations

The course of action for coming off paint thinners is usually paint thinner addiction treatment. However, depending on your situation, you may be recommended for drug detox in addition to that. It’s best to talk with a professional and discuss your personal situation.

For anyone who abuses paint thinners long-term, the results can be disastrous. They may end up suffering from serious effects, such as:

  • Severely weakened muscles
  • Bouts of disorientation
  • Problems paying attention
  • Coordination issues
  • Severe weight loss
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Constant irritability

Some of the effects of paint thinners can't be reversed. It's possible to suffer from:

  • Brain damage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Limb spasms
  • Problems within the bone marrow
  • Hearing loss
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage

How to Talk With Your Child About Addiction

As a parent, it's important to know how to talk with your child about addiction. No matter how hold they are, it's not easy to know what to say. For younger children, it's important that they know you're there for them. Before the age of ten, kids understand what it means to want something really bad, but not be able to get it. This is a good way to bring it up to them.

Between the ages of 10 and 12, it's important not to lecture kids about addiction. It's OK to talk with them about a loved one's addiction, for example. However, avoid presenting facts and figures to them. Just be truthful in identifying what the problem is.

When a child becomes a teenager, their ability to understand improves. If they think you're not being honest, they'll stop listening. You can let them know the truth, but again, avoid lecturing. If you have an addicted family member, make sure your child knows that it's not their fault. Use your child's experience in dealing with an addicted loved one to back up what you say.

Above all, let your child know that it's safe and encouraged to come to you if they have concerns. This is really important, and you should say it often.

Is Paint Thinner Abuse and Addiction Treatment Covered by Insurance?

Yes, if you or a loved one need addiction treatment for a paint thinner addiction, insurance will cover it. All you need to do is contact a drug rehab and have your insurance verified. You'll find out what your benefits are right away.

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Getting the Help You Need at the Top Paint Thinner Rehab Programs

When you're addicted to a substance like paint thinners, it can feel as though you're drowning in your addiction, with no way of escaping. This just isn't the case at all. Some of the best paint thinner rehab centers in the Pacific Northwest are available to help you recover, and Northpoint Recovery is considered to be one of them.

If you would like more information about how Northpoint Recovery can help you overcome this dangerous addiction, we would like to talk with you and answer any additional questions you might have. Please contact us.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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Paint Thinner Addiction Treatment