A 43-year-old woman has revealed her secret compulsion to drink paint on the season premiere of TLC’s My Strange Addiction.
Heather Beal, an Alabama mother of two, admits that she has guzzled close to three gallons since she first started the practice three years ago.
‘As it’s going down your throat it feels very nice and warm, almost like a thicker version of warm milk,’ she says. ‘But obviously, it’s got that very strong chemical taste, which is perfect to me.’
Secret habit: Heather Beal has tried paint in all forms to satisfy her cravings
Ms Beal says that she prefers paint in marker form, and goes to the hardware store to feed her habit. Every day she pries the cap off one paint marker and drinks the contents.
‘I drink paint from markers because I have looked for other paint both in quart or gallon form, and I haven’t found one that satisfies my desire,’ she explains.
Ms Beal demonstrates how she shakes the paint marker pen up to get the ideal consistency – the sticks it in her mouth.
In another scene, her eye twitches as she downs a shot of white paint in front of the camera.
‘I drink paint from markers because I have looked for other paints, both in quart or gallon form, and haven’t found any that satisfy my desire,’ she explains.
She says that her bizarre habit began after her mother died, and that until now no one has seen her drink paint – especially not her children.
Most inhalants depress the central nervous system in a similar way to alcohol, but inhalant abuse can also cause relaxation, euphoria, slurred speech, hallucinations, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, users of inhalants may lose the ability to walk, talk or think.
Other noticeable signs in people using inhalants include nosebleeds, runny nose, reddened eyes – and sudden violent behavior may result because of the effect inhalants have on the brain.
Later in the episode Ms Beal seems to get a wake-up call after she visits a doctor and learns that she has done damage to her kidneys.
After someone asked her what she would feel like if one of her kids drank paint, she vowed to kick the habit – and in a recent interview with TLC insisted that she has stayed clean.
The fifth season of My Strange Addiction airs Wednesdays at 9pm on TLC.