Why Are Painters Alcoholics?

I learned something new the other day.  That alcohol abuse rehabilitation potential for painters can often be limited until they leave their trade and most will never do that.  Why you ask?  I know that my experience as a hospitalist tells me that many men in the construction trade seem to be disproportionately alcoholic.  Recently, I learned that many painters  have a problem with alcoholism and that their alcohol abuse rehabilitation potential was limited by their constant exposure to the chemicals in their paint.

Mrs Happy and I are currently in the midst of a whole first floor home remodel job.    It started out as a small kitchen remodel and quickly bloomed into something much bigger. Of everything that's been done, I'm quite proud of my only contribution:  installing a  Pella full view storm door.  A while back we were  trying to decide between granite vs quartz for our new kitchen.  We ended up choosing granite.   You'll get a picture of that soon.

Part of the home remodel job was to  tear out the entryway oak banister and replace it with a more modern  look.  And part of  that required the painters to stain it and spray two coats of lacquer on it.  The painters told use we would not be able to sleep in the house for at least a night after the coat was applied. It took them two nights to finish.   They were right.  They said the fumes were overwhelming and would make us high as a kite and probably give us headaches as well.  We could smell it from the sidewwalk, 50 feet away.  They said they usually wear painters breathing masks to protect themselves.  But not always.  And apparently, many painters don't.  And I don't think these guys did either. 

In fact, these guys said they have on occasion been so messed up mentally with the fumes that they didn't know left from right.    My dry wall contact told me that the lacquer goes straight to the painter's brain and if they start to come off the high of the lacquer, it will cause a raging headache.  So what do painters do?  As soon as they get home (or often on the job), they start drinking alcohol to prevent from getting the headaches.  And that's why painters become alcoholics.  And that's why as long as they keep painting, their alcohol abuse rehabilitation potential will be limited.  They drink to keep the high from going away and causing withdrawal headaches.

How about that. I had no idea.    Painters are alcoholics because they drink to prevent the headaches after coming down from their lacquer high.  I wonder what these painters must be like as they drive home.  Makes it scary to think they're out on the roads high as a kite on lacquer fumes after finishing a job.

Poor Mrs Happy spent two days in the SUV with Marty and Cooper waiting to gain access to our home.  It's a good thing she didn't get a blood clot in her leg.   We're back in now  and the job is moving forward nicely.  The fireplace is up, the entryway banister is stained and lacquered and the new trim is painted.  I'll put up some posts in the near future showing the amazing transformation.  For now, here's a  sneak peak picture of our new fireplace and a picture of what it looked like when we moved in.  Do you like the new yellow paint and white carpet.  It's beautiful, isn't it?



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