Drug Addiction: Huffing

By: Amy Morris
By: Amy Morris

It's called huffing and it can be damaging and even deadly. Law enforcement officials say huffing is mostly a teen problem. They say the chemicals kids use to huff can be found around the house or in this case a business.

Earlier this week employees at Hair Benders Salon on Panama City Beach wondered why it was getting so hot even though they heard the air conditioning running. When they took a look out back they found the problem; someone had cut the hose to get at the coolant frequently known as "Freon".

Hair Benders stylist R.C. Day says, "We called the police and filed a report. They said it was probably kids, kids getting high."

And the whole shopping plaza had been hit. Air conditioning experts say the refrigerant is hard to get a hold of for that reason. You even have to have a license to buy it.

Joe Ridge from Ridge Heating and Air says, "It's a cheap high, but it's really dangerous. Especially the coolant right out of the air conditioner. That has oil in it and that alone can kill you."

According to the Journal of Addiction huffing is most popular with youngsters ages 12 to 14. It can cause an immediate heart attack and when it doesn't kill the user can suffer permanent brain damage ranging from memory loss to going deaf.

Experts say there are signs to look for to know if your child is huffing. The number one tell-tale sign is breath or clothes that smell like chemicals. Also sores around the mouth, dramatic weight loss, restlessness and irrational angry outbursts.


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