Everything You Need to Know About Paint Thinner Abuse

Unfortunately, there are already so many medications that people seem to abuse, but it doesn’t stop there. You will find many other things that people use to get high, as well. One of these things is paint thinner drug. Many people sniff, snort, bag, or huff paint thinner.

How Is Paint Thinner Abused?

Paint thinner can be abused in many different ways. As previously mentioned, people will be huffing paint thinner, drinking paint thinner, sniffing paint thinner, and inhaling paint thinner. All of these methods can be extremely dangerous for the user. When someone huffs paint thinner or uses it in any other way, it can cause negative effects on their brain and other parts of their body, as well.

Paint Thinner And The Brain

Those who are getting a paint thinner high might experience memory loss and thinking issues. These problems could arise years after they have been exposed to paint thinner alcohol. The more someone uses paint thinner, the worse the effects drinking paint thinner or using the drug in another way will be.

Adolescent Addiction To Paint Thinners

Many adolescents want to experiment with drugs. However, many drugs are hard for them to come by. This is why many of them turn to paint thinner. It is easy for them to get. Many adolescents don’t realize the dangers of the drink paint thinner or other methods of using paint thinner. They don’t understand that even if it doesn’t cause immediate negative effects on their body and mind, it can eventually, even after they have stopped using it.

Side Effects Of Paint Thinner Abuse

There are many side effects of paint thinner abuse. Some people want to know what happens if you drink paint thinner and others want to know what happens if you inhale paint thinner. No matter the method you use, some of the short-term side effects you might experience from paint thinner abuse include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to coordinate movements
  • Dazed or dizzy appearance
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Impaired judgment
  • Severe headaches
  • Rashes on mouth and nose
  • Unconsciousness
  • Heart failure
  • Death

Some of the long-term side effects of paint thinner abuse include the following:

  • Disorientation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irritability
  • Coordination issues
  • Depression
  • Memory impairments
  • Serious damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Death

These are some of the short-term and long-term effects of abusing paint thinner.

Signs Of Paint Thinner Abuse

If you suspect that someone is experiencing paint thinner side effects, there are some signs that may show they are, indeed, abusing paint thinner. Some of these paint thinner abuse signs you might recognize include the following:

  • Chemical odors on clothing or their breath
  • Paint stains on their clothes, hands, or face
  • Hidden spray paint or solvent cans that are empty
  • Chemical-soaked clothing or rags that are hidden away
  • Disoriented appearance
  • Slurring of speech
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Depression

These are some of the signs that someone might be abusing paint thinner.

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Paint Thinner Addiction Treatment

No matter what method someone is using to get a paint thinner high, there are many addiction treatment centers that are available to help them overcome their paint thinner abuse or addiction. Withdrawal from paint thinner abuse needs to be monitored and that can be done in a medical detox program. It is also very tough to overcome paint thinner abuse on one’s own. Addiction rehab programs, after detox, are often found to be the most effective option.

Paint Thinner Withdrawal

Going through paint thinner withdrawal can be tough. There are many withdrawal symptoms that may be difficult to overcome on one’s own. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Insomnia or other types of sleep disorders
  • Cravings for using paint thinners again
  • Hallucinations

For anyone who needs to go through withdrawal from a paint thinner addiction, there are rehab options out there.

Paint Thinner Rehab Options

There are various paint thinner rehab options. The treatment starts with recognizing there is a problem. After that, the person must seek out help and support. Treatment generally begins with a medical detox program. This helps the person to clean out their system.

After the detox program, there are extensive behavior change techniques used in inpatient and outpatient rehab programs that can help the person to overcome their paint thinner abuse or addiction.

If you or someone you know is abusing paint thinners, there is help out there.


  • medlineplus.gov – Substance use – inhalants
  • aafp.org – Recognition and Prevention of Inhalant Abuse
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Oxidative stress effects of thinner inhalation
  • drugabuse.gov – Inhalants

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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