Canned air dusters and products typically contain gases, these fumes can lead to psychoactive effects, which is known as an air duster high.

Along with the well-known illicit drugs that are sold on the black market, there are many ways people can get high that you might not even think about. One way is by huffing air duster. Using these products to get high is called huffing canned air, or huffing compressed air.

An air duster, also known as gas duster or canned air is used to clean electronic devices and other items that could be damaged by cleaning them with water. When someone uses canned air or air duster, they press a trigger and then compressed air comes through the nozzle of the container. While it’s just called canned air, these products usually have gases that are compressed to become liquids. Because these canned air products contain gases, the fumes can lead to psychoactive effects, which is known as an air duster high.

Below is a general overview of an air duster air, and what happens when someone is huffing canned air.

Article at a Glance:

Air duster abuse is something parents of young teens should be particularly aware of. As was touched on above, it’s so easy for young teens to get air duster and other inhalants, but the results can be dangerous or deadly.

  • Air duster abuse can cause damage to nearly every part of the body including the heart, liver, lungs, and brain.
  • Air duster abuse can also lead to sudden death from things like cardiac arrest, and of course, there are the risks that come with being intoxicated in general, such as poor decision making.
  • Inhaling air duster and other similar substances can also cause things like hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen, or even less apparent risks such as frostbite in the throat.

What is an Air Duster High?

An air duster high occurs when someone breathes in the gases contained in these canned products. When someone inhales an air duster, it moves the oxygen that would typically be in the lungs and removes the carbon dioxide from the blood, which is why people feel high in some cases.

An air duster high isn’t the only way to abuse inhalants. Inhalants are a broad class of substances that people use as a way to get high. They breathe in the fumes and vapors from these items in order to achieve psychoactive effects.

To achieve a high from an inhalant, users will often place a plastic bag over their mouth, or breath from a rag that’s been soaked in a solvent with potentially psychoactive properties. Some of the items used to achieve an inhalant high are as simple as nail polish and hairspray.

There are varying effects of inhalants, ranging from mild intoxication to hallucinations.

What are the Risks of Huffing an Air Duster?

Huffing air duster can be referred to as dusting in slang terms, and it requires the use of a full can of air duster with as much as possible being inhaled. The objective is a euphoric high, although it’s very short-lived and also incredibly dangerous as huffing an air duster can potentially kill a user the first time they do it.

Huffing canned air is a particularly popular way to get high among younger teens because they can buy the products needed to produce the brief high inexpensively and without restrictions, although there has been some effort in recent years to make the public more aware of the risks of huffing canned air.

Unfortunately, teens and others who are huffing compressed air often see it as a cheap thrill, without understanding the true consequences.

The High & Side Effects

Air duster side effects can vary, and range from feelings of slight intoxication to a sense of intense euphoria. The air duster high effects depend on exactly what’s contained in the substance being inhaled, and also how much is being inhaled. Since the air duster high effects are short-lived, users will often do it over and over again in a short period of time.

The short-term air duster high effects can include nausea, headache, fatigue, stomach pains, violence, irrational behavior, slurred speech, tingling in the extremities, hallucinations and a delay in reflexes.

There can be long-term air duster high effects possible as well including weight loss, depression, muscle spasms and changes in mood. Unfortunately, permanent damage can also occur when someone is inhaling air duster regularly. For example, inhaling air duster can lead to permanent damage to the lungs, heart, liver, and brain.

Another possible outcome of inhaling air duster is suffocation. When someone inhales air duster, it causes a depression of oxygen levels as the fumes go into the lungs and then the central nervous system. This can make it impossible for the person to breath, therefore they suffocate.

Also possible is something called sudden sniffing death. When someone sniffs an air duster, it can cause changes in their heartbeat that then lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Related Topic: Air Duster Mixing It and Alcohol

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Renee Deveney
Editor – Renee Deveney
As a contributor for Advanced Recovery Systems, Renee Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. With a family history of addiction, Renee is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use and mental health. Read more
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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.