Citation: Ecto Morph. "It DOES Get You High: An Experience with Inhalents (Paint Thinner) (exp63758)". Erowid.org. May 27, 2010. erowid.org/exp/63758
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 feel the need to document and share an experience I had after sniffing Testors Paint Thinner, back around 1978 when I was 14 years of age.
This was a dark period of my life, and I was often bored, lonely, and depressed. Before my one experience with paint thinner, I had sniffed model glue, or airplane glue, on several occasions. I built plastic model cars, planes and ships to pass the time. As a result, I had model glue, the Testors brand, in addition to the paint thinner and assorted paints. I would squeeze the glue into a plastic bag, cover my mouth and nose, and inhale. The highs I got from glue were never very intense and left me with a 15 minute dizzy drunk feeling. The high I got from Testors Paint Thinner was quite the contrary.
I wanted to get high before going to school one morning. I had no access to common recreational drugs such as pot and I was curious if the paint thinner would affect me if I inhaled it. I read the label on the small glass vial. The label listed 'mineral spirits' as one of the ingrediants. If mineral spirits are anything like alcoholic spirits, I thought, then this paint thinner may very well get me high just as good if not better than the glue!
I poured a good portion of the thinner into a white plastic shopping bag. I then sat at the edge of my bed, put the bag over my nose and mouth, leaned over, and inhaled. I breathed deeply at a slow rythmic rate. I remember first seeing the white of the inflated bag, as I continued to breath, and hearing the warm air pass in and out of my mouth causing the bag to make light crumpling noises as it expanded and contracted.
About a minute later, the sound of my breath, as I inhaled, transformed into several voices singing a musical scale, similar to 'do re mi fa so la ti do' . When I exhaled, the voices sang down in pitch in a similar fashion. Surprised by this auditory hallucination, I halted my breath and breathed very slowly, only to discover that the voices continued singing the scales, also more slowly, as if my breath was the voices source.
Even though the bag was small and about a foot long or so, I felt as if it was stretching down to the carpet with every exhalation, then springing back up. I closed my eyes then became transformed to a dream like state where I was looking down onto the top of a spinning merry-go-round, similar to what I used to see in play grounds back then. It looked much like a kaleidoscope with toy balls and blocks moving around on the top. For a minute I was completely removed from reality as I remained amused by the merry-go-round show.
A feeling of shock and surprise came over me, when I realised that what I was seeing was not real and that I was still in my bedroom and needed to leave for school. I lifted my head from the bag and peered at my wall. I saw fractalised patterns on the wall similar to a hounds tooth textile pattern. Everything I looked at was fractalised in that manner and I could not make out any smooth edges. I noticed my mouth was numb. I began to feel frightened because I had no idea what I had done to myself. I knew of nobody else who tried paint thinner and I felt as if I was going into unexplored territory. I became fearful that my whole body was going to go numb. Alone in the house, and frightened, I ran downstairs out of our home towards to bus stop.
I felt a great spring like sensation as I ran to the bus stop. It felt as if my lower legs were made of springs and that I bounced high with every step. This sensation gave me a sense of exhileration and helped to quell my fear. I looked at the green trees on the horizon, and they, too, were fractalised into hounds tooth patterns. This was quite bizaar looking. I felt relieved when I get to the bus stop and near the other students now, although I dont remember speaking to any of them.
I do not remember much after this. I began to feel back to normal as I completed my 15 minute bus ride to my Jr. High School, and by the time I got to my first class I came completely down.
This short trip lasted only about a half hour. It would have been more enjoyable if I knew what to expect and had other's personal experiences to compare to. The body, auditory and visual distortions I experienced were quite strong and comparible to LSD which I tried in my early 20s. They were not, however overwhelming to the point of causing unease. I stopped doing all inhalents shortly after this experience because I felt the health risks, to both mind and body, were too great.
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