An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Huffing Paint

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by SF13, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. SF13

    SF13 Member

    My cousin has a serious addiction to huffing paint. I don't know if this can be considered a chemical addiction, but it is definitely a mental one. He will have an absolute fit if he can't get someone to take him to Wal-mart or someplace similar so that he can buy a specific brand and color, I forget the brand but it has to be 'gold' paint.

    I don't really know what to do about this since I live about 200 mile away and no one in the family that lives there is willing to do anything about it but enable him. Any thoughts?
  2. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    By the way your describe the situation it certainly sounds like there's a problem there. The way I see it (and this is just my view), the first thing that needs to happen is for him to be aware of it being an issue. He's got to appreciate that what he's doing isn't "natural behavior" and is a health risk, if nothing else.

    Obviously, it's not something that can be done easily from 200 miles away but I certainly think you should open up the conversation with him. Even if it's over the phone. Not in a judgmental or critical way but to get a sense of how he sees it and what's driving the behavior. Once the conversation has started then you can start looking beyond that and additional help.
  3. SF13

    SF13 Member

    Thank you for the advice. He actually admits that it isn't healthy or normal, he just doesn't want to stop. I liken it to someone who knows they have lung issues but refuses to stop smoking. He, well I really just don't know what to do about it.

    I feel he needs psychological counseling. He has a issue with his immediate family, abandonment mostly. I spent a lot of time with him when we were kids and it wasn't like this, but after our grandfather died he just withdrew and stopped caring. He has sober moments, but he pretty much just wants to sit and huff paint.
  4. Geinnam

    Geinnam Member

    A childhood friend of mine loved to huff paint. He did it for many years while he was a teenager. This was over 30 years ago, when there was little or no knowledge about this. In his late twenties and early thirties, he began having several health issues. They did several brain scans and even though he hadn't huffed in over a decade, the doctor could tell that he used to huff and told him that it caused permanent damage.

    You can tell your cousin that you are so concerned, you sought advice. Perhaps if he realizes that with continued use, his brain will become damaged and that cannot be reversed, he might seek help. My heart goes out to you.
  5. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    Given that he knows there is an issue, maybe ask him if he would speak to someone professionally, even if it's just for your peace of mind. If he won't do it for himself maybe it's about doing it for someone else.

    It certainly sounds like it's more than just about the paint. But he's going to have to want to address the issue for some form of lasting change to take hold. Awareness alone isn't going to be enough, I'm guessing.
  6. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your cousin, SF13. Huffing paint is something that only gets worse over time, and not everyone wants help, even when they understand they have a problem. The high they get off their huffing drives them to keep on doing it regardless of the consequences on their health.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

  8. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    Huffing is a very serious issue that is only now being taken seriously. Last year, huffing was not even considered illegal in my state. However a new law states that huffing while driving is as bad as using drugs or drinking while driving. The penalties are now getting stiff. When I took my friend to the hospital, they told him that huffing is a much more addictive substance than many other drugs. They claimed that if he kept up the use that he was, he would have permanent brain damage withint a year. I dont thin he cared/listened. He is doing what he wants to do
  9. Gin0710

    Gin0710 Active Contributor

    That's awful. I hope he finds help. I hope you can get help. Those kind of addictions are what scares me. Because you don't know what to do to treat it. Are there programs that help with strange addictions like that?
  10. Ronsa

    Ronsa Active Contributor

    I am sorry to hear that your cousin being addicted to huffing paint. I hope both of you can find a solution to stop this addiction. It is clear that it can cause health problem. It is better to help your cousin sop this as soon as possible.
  11. jade870

    jade870 Active Contributor

    I think I’ve heard it all and seen it all, as a teenager I encountered many things and seen people huffing paint was one of them. I don’t think people realize how dangerous this is. There are so many harmful chemicals you breathed in when doing this. The personal experience of my own was seeing a friend huffing spray paint. Sure he thought he was having a good time with his other friends. I did my best to talk to him and tell him that what he was doing was very dangerous. Of course he did not listen to me for his parents, and now at the age of 23 he is a complete vegetable. Unable to speak or anything, all he is able to do is lie in bed. This is extremely sad for me he was such a bright young man, and what he fought was just harmless fun became his end.
  12. SF13

    SF13 Member

    Thank you all for sharing your stories and insights! My cousin has definitely become erratic over the last few years. He has been shown scans where he had damaged his brain among other things but he has constantly refused to even consider help.

    Thank you for the link Jen. S. I've looked it over and shared it with my aunt as well. Hopefully they can convince him more than I can, but I'm uncertain how to help him when he won't really try to help himself.
  13. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    In my region of the world at the moment, that is the choice of the populous. It is cheap and anyone can get a hand on the substance. How can we fix this problem? I have no idea. Any construction site has it laying around or maybe in a trash bin. Kids can get to it and start sniffing away, then cover it up and use is for days.