Citation: Boo. "Butane Realities: An Experience with Inhalants (Butane) (exp66500)". Erowid.org. Apr 7, 2011. erowid.org/exp/66500
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 am writing this experience report to warn people of the dangers of inhalants... especially butane gas and similar inhalants like aerosol paint.
When I was 18 I was sitting around with a group of my brothers friends - they are aproximately 3 to 4 years older than me - and one of them noticed a can of butane sitting on the bench. He mentioned that he used to 'huff' it back in his younger years, and then proceeded to take a big breath of it from the can.
He then handed me the can and asked me if I wanted to try some. Of course at the time I was going through my 'experiment with anything and everything' phase, so naturally, I did. I put the can towards my mouth and stuck the needle-like nozzle to my teeth, I then bit down on it and push the nozzle back into the can in order to release the gas into my lungs. I took a full breath with no oxygen to go with it, and within a few seconds I was feeling very light headed, and cheerful. It reminded me of the laughing stage of acid, because everything was hilarious, even when there was nothing to laugh at.
My face felt really hot, yet my feet felt cold, like I was standing in a puddle of water, and I could see a haze of colours, as if it were a filter between my eyes and reality. Plus I could hear this constant throbbing sound in my head. Of course being at the stage of life that I was at, I loved it, even though my first hit only really got me for about 20-30 seconds and the effects were fully worn off within a minute. I pretty much ignored this guys warning - 'Be careful with that shit,' he said, 'I know you, and I know you'll go psycho on that shit'.... Of course I thought he meant that I would simply go to far and be high on it all the time, I never actually thought that I would go psycho on this substance.
I stayed away from it for a couple of days, but after a long day I said 'fuck it' and I started to hit the can. I did the usual tests that I do with drugs, seeing how it affected certain things I did, whether they became more pleasurable or not (cigarettes for instance). I didn't really notice a difference, but because I enjoyed the momentary effect, I continued to huff.
I was living with my older brother at the time who kept a very close eye on me, so I had to be careful with this. Cannibis was okay, as was the occasional X. But knowing that my brother had also been a previous huffer of this gas, made me weary not to let him catch me out. so every moment that I was alone in the house or the only one awake, I would be high on butane. I never really pushed it too far, because I was fairly new to this, and having tried other inhalants before, I knew that this one was hard-core. No other inhalant compared to this, not even nitrous.
So here I was a few weeks later at a mates house (which incidently happened to be one of the last houses my brother and I had lived in) and I was staying the night. The funny thing being that the guest room just so happened to be my old bedroom. So here I was in the middle in the night, in a familiar surrounding, only with unfamiliar items around me, with a can of butane in my bag. I don't know what made me do it, but I felt so compelled to push this thing to the limit that I didn't even think of the danger I was putting myself in.
I proceeded to take one full breath after another of the gas until my mind could not take anymore. I didn't even realise that I was holding the can anymore or what I had just done. a pattern of circles, within circles, within another two circles that rotated around each other, glowing red and green. I was completely lost in a trance. A voice in my head told me that I had to choose between one of the two circles in order to escape the mindset I was in. I was laying down on my back at the time, and whichever way I rolled onto my side, was the circle I had chosen. I rolled over without even realising it, because by this stage I thought I was in a house I used to live in two years previous, surrounded by the friends that I used to live with.
So once I rolled over, I had chosen my path within 'The Pattern' (as it's commonly reffered to by butane huffers). it continued to circle around itself, although once i had 'chosen' it 'zoomed into' one of the circles.... only to produce two more spinning circles within it! This is when the throbbing sound intensified, it became louder and doubled in speed (keeping in mind that the 'physical' and mental effects are with you everytime you huff). This is where I freaked out. I could hear voices laughing in my head saying 'You're trapped now, there's now way out!' without thinking I leaped up off the bed and made an almighty racket on the wooden floors running towards the bedroom door, saying 'Fuck! I need help! I need to go to the hospital!'
This is where the daze began to wear off and I slowly came to. Hoping that I hadn't awoken my brother and his girlfriend in the room next door.... Then I realised that we no longer lived in this house and that it was now my mates house... Now I really hoped that I hadn't woken anyone! All of the effects wore off, except for the 'filtered' haze of red and green. The pattern was gone, the voices were gone, and the throbbing had gone away enough for me to not notice it.
From then on, I continued to huff, but only one or two breathes at a time. Not the ridiculous amount I attempted that night. But I started to notice alot of bad effects within myself since that night. My speach was impaired and I found it hard to string a sentence together, because the pathways in my brain were so damaged from huffing gas for so many months, that I couldn't even put basic words together. Not to mention that green and red haze never went away... What I didn't notice - but my family and friends did - was that I was getting stranger and stranger as the days passed. My nervous system was shot from huffing, and I couldn't move my limbs and extremeties the way I wanted to, and I developed quite a nasty twitch in my neck... Because I was still huffing regularly I didn't notice, nor did I care.
I moved back into my mothers house for a while with many mental health issues, plus the fact I couldn't look after myself because my nerves. So I layed off the gas for a little bit and started to heavily smoke grass. I found that this calmed my nerves, stopped the constant chatter in my head, and allowed me to speak clearly again. But it was only a matter of time before I got fed up with my mother's dictatorship over me, and said 'fuck it'. I Went and bought another can of butane just to spite her. so the next thing I know, I'm huffing like crazy, pushing myself to the limit ALL DAY or until my can ran out. I found the experiences with this weren't as harsh as my first intense encounter, but then again I WAS PRACTICALLY A FUCKING VEGETABLE, so I probably didn't notice.
So I found myself wound up in a mental health ward at my local hospital, popping all sorts of anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers just to keep functioning. since my 'incarceration' I have woken up to myself, from hearing other people's accounts of what I used to be like and seeing other aerosol huffers come into the unit. I'm not fully back to normal, I still have to take my medication 2-3 years on, and probably will have to for a very long time. But one thing that I have noticed is that every now and then I get 'butane flashbacks'- Not so much the physical effects, or the noise, but the psychotic mindframe that I once lived in comes back and grabs me every now and then. and the worse thing is, because of what I did to myself on butane, I can no longer enjoy other substances such as LSD or Cannibis, and I have to be very weary of alcohol because of my moods.
My advice to anyone is STAY AWAY FROM VOLATILE SUBSTANCES SUCH AS AEROSOLS AND OTHER INHALANTS it's seriously not worth it, and because of the extreme, yet short lasting effects, it's very easy to get trapped inside. This may only be one man's reflection of a time he regrets, but for every one that tells it, there are thousands of zombies out there, I know and see many of them around. Please be careful.
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