Citation: S. "The Village Drunk in an Early Irish Novel: An Experience with Inhalants (Spray Paint), Zolpidem & Alcohol (exp30050)". Erowid.org. May 6, 2007. erowid.org/exp/30050
Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe recreational use of volatile solvents, aerosols and other street inhalants : their psychoactive effects are inseparable from nerve and organ damage. We have chosen to include these reports to help document the real world use of inhalants, but their inclusion is not intended to imply that they are anything but dangerous.]
I've never witnessed or known first hand the effects of toluene abuse (spray paint/solvents) until tonight. First my credentials: THC, MDMA, 2C-t-7 (with and w/o simultanoius nitrous), LSD, morning glory, ice, coke (8 ball a week), alcohol, xanax, ambien, valium, oxycodone. Everything but non-synthetic opiates.
I have a good friend, lets call her KerBear, who recently came into a nasty habit of spray paint abuse. I never had any interest in trying it as I've heard bad things about it. She swears by it, but recently got arrested for being passed out in a car in public under the influence of a 'volatile substance'.. I have a secret crush on this girl and always want to make sure she has a fun and safe time with me.
I met her around 2pm at her house not anticipating to watch what I was later going to see. I brought her an Ambien which I knew she had never tried. She took this around
2:15pm and we left and proceded to goto the liquer store to buy a 5th of Jaiger. At 2:45 we do about 4 shots a peice of jaiger and split the rest into our two Dr. Peppers to walk around the mall. After I'm feeling pretty drunk she mentions how she would like me to get her spray paint. I really didn't think that was a great idea and in retrospect I know it wasn't. So after about 30 minutes of her talking to me about it, I start to give in.
Understand first of all, any guy with a serious crush on a girl knows how difficult it is to turn them down. Second of all, she told me that this would be the last time she would ever do it and if it wasn't with me it would be by herself - which I know is an extremely dangerous thing to do. And I believed that she was telling the truth (about it being her last time). I assumed that since I've been studying pharmacology and I know a bit about the human body that I might as well give in and buy her some because I would force her to moderate and if things started getting weird I could help. I had no idea what a terrible drug this is. And I've ODed on coke twice and seen people in about every state of mind there is or so I thought.
So we go to to the store to the paint section and buy a ninety seven cent can of gold spray paint which she said was the best. My heart was pounding and I was starting to sweat because I really felt like I was doing something wrong by helping her to faciliate self destructive tendencies. But if this really was to be her last time and I couldn't talk her out of it and if I didn't get it for her she would do it by herself; well I felt like my options were limited.
So here we are in the parking lot, she's pretty drunk and buzzing on the ambien I suppose and she immedeltey begins spraying a large ammount of this paint into a bag and puts it over her nose and mouth. After about 2 minutes of hyper ventalating in this bag I can tell she's getting pretty messed up, reminding me of a nitrous high. I reminded her to breath fresh air assuming the lungs are supposed to introduce oxygen and nitrogen into the blood stream to feed the brain and not toulene and gold #2.
We drive around for 45 minutes with her head in the bag most of the time (and when I tell her stop because of passing cars, cops etc. she barely responds. She clearly
has a problem with time as she believes a few seconds equal a few minutes) and I start to get very worried. I insisted that she stop. Her speech is very slurred at this time and she is clearly having a problem thinking clearly. She looks almost like a vegetable, as if all higher level cognative functions have shut down. I've never been so scared for a person. A few minutes after stopping she was somewhat responsive but in a stupor. I tried to make her feel comofortable by holding her hand and rubbing the back of her neck, telling her how great she was and trying to get her to explain why she put herself through such a horrible thing. I suppose that if she could have seen herself the way I saw her in such a stupor/deliorum she might re-evaluate whether its worth it.
I honestly think the worst drug in the world is 97 cents now. Before I saw her try it there was some doubt as to whether I would turn it down if it was offered to me but when I saw her simply staring straight at my tape deck in the car for 10 minutes without saying anything I thought I might have lost her. At our next stop I threw the can of paint and bags out the window. It was over 3/4th of the way FULL, so I was amazed that such a small amount could have such a huge physiological effect.
Another strange thing that happened was that at some point during this 3 hour escapade she had to take a piss and was perfectly willing to hop out of the car in the mall parking lot infront of a hundred people and pee on the pavement. I had to physically pull her back in the car and find a more reasonable place (the back alley of a strip mall). There was no way she could have went into a gas station or store at that point.
She was delirious and uncoordinated (not to mention covered in gold paint). I suppose it makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early irish novel :) So 45 minutes after her last huff she's starting to come back to a more normal and drunken reality, one I'm more comfortable with seeing her in. We were parked in a parking lot again just talking. She said she felt 'very euphoric' and 'perfect' at this point but she was once again talking normally and seemed to be doing better. I tried to hold her hand and have a sort-of ecstasy in-depth conversation but it was next to impossible.
She did reveal that at one point with her last boyfriend who got her started on this stuff, she was so high she woke up with him having sex with her in a park, she wasn't even aware that it was happening. The empathic tendencies for her just wern't there, and it very strange. I was happily taking on a paternalistic role of sober-sitter for the evening. But since I'm sort of in love with her I didn't really care. I told her about how she was acting and how scared I was for her but all she could think of was doing some more.
I noticed her hands were starting to tremble parkinson's style - as was her head twitching. She said that was 'normal' which very much worried me. I thought it was a temperature thing but I wasn't. I remember when I inhaled several cases of whippits over a days time I was suffering simular effects but not that acute. I knew she needed fresh cold air so I turned on the AC. I felt like a lousy friend at this point for underestimating the destructive properties of this terrible drug. Coke, X, Ice, benzos, ssri's - these are drugs. I think spray paint is a poison and highly toxic; I'm sure snorting drano or drinking antifreeze will screw you up too, right before it kills you of course. Spraypaints effect seem to be manifested by the user getting closer to death as the brain is being deprived of oxygen rather than any complex and beautiful neurochemical reactions. Although I'm sure lack of oxygen isn't the only pharmacological effect with the erratic behavior I witnessed. It was bad. Trust me on this.
Anyway, I took her home and was and still am very worried about her. She claimed she was nausious and drunk and so naturally I was worried because she seemed to be acting
normal albeit a tad lathargic. She assures me she'll be fine and I dropped her off. I am now very, very worried about her. I think she'll be fine and I'm just being overly
paranoid but I can assure you I will never assist her in doing this again. I simply didn't know what it did or how bad it really is. It seems to make pure mescaline look like ginger beer, as my attorney would say. I just pray she's ok at this moment and sleeping peacefully at home. I imagine it will take a day or two for her brain to return to baseline, which I imagine even 'baseline' is redefined with every abuse of this drug.
Anyway, I've never been one to discourage drug use. I'm a staunch defender of cognitive liberty as well as a psychonaut in my own right. But if your really thinking about getting into huffing spray paint, I have to disagree with my Kerbear that everyone needs to try it once and 'this one will be my last'. It seems to be more addictive than crack. I know I'm knocking it before I try it but I mean, I saw what it did to her and how its affected her life these last 6 month. The stupor I saw tonight was only exceeded by the time I drank a bottle of Johnny Walker on Straterra and Effexor XR and woke up 2 days later in ER. Neither one was very pretty.
I know that if my friend dies as a result of tonight (not likely) or as a result of her breaking her promise to me and huffing more paint by herself (a little more likely) I and her family will be seriously devestated. Friends don't let friends huff paint, and even though she may have had fun tonight, I feel like I owe her and her REAL friends and family an apology but they would probably never talk to me again for helping her get this stuff in the first place. And I can understand. Although it wont happen again.
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