Huffing Duster

Huffing or dusting is the term for using household aerosol products and inhalants to get high. One of the most popular products used for huffing is canned air dusters that are designed to clean computers or other electronic hardware. The aerosol can is either inhaled directly or sprayed onto a rag and sniffed. The consequences can be dire. It’s a popular choice for adolescents because it’s so widely available, either at home or in stores. Videos of users huffing duster can be found on social media sites like YouTube, showing the immediate intoxicating effects and encouraging use by young adults.

Huffing Duster
People who inhale canned aerosols experience near-instantaneous psychoactive effects. The initial rush is described as an intense, drunk-like state. People abusing these substances become impaired and can experience dizziness, hallucinations and, in some cases, paralysis. They may exhibit other signs of inebriation like the inability to talk or express themselves in other ways. In some instances, people may immediately lose consciousness or even suffocate and die instantly.
There are several short-term risks of inhalant use. Most are potentially fatal. The chemicals in inhalants cause changes in the heart rate which can be so severe that they lead to a fatal heart attack. Asphyxiation from a lack of oxygen can happen as the lungs are continuously filled with the canned aerosol. In some cases, people may start to have seizures, become unconscious or slip into a coma. Losing consciousness brings about the additional risk of choking on one’s vomit.
Abusing inhalants also comes with an extensive list of long-term health risks. The repeated inhalation of toxic chemicals in many household aerosols can damage the brain and nervous system. Permanent damage to the parts of the brain that control vision, sound recognition and motor skills are also linked to inhalant abuse. The potential for long-term damage is not isolated to the brain and nerves. The liver, kidneys, heart and lungs are all at risk when people abuse inhalants.
With air duster and other household aerosol products being so readily available, it’s important to be aware of and look out for signs of aerosol abuse. The first obvious sign is the evidence left behind. Empty aerosol cans in garbage bins, cans left out in places that are easily accessible, and rags that smell like chemicals are all tell-tale signs that someone in your household may be abusing these products. Other signs like inebriation, a sudden change in personal hygiene or awareness, or other things that seem out of the ordinary could be signs of a problem.
Inhaling canned aerosols isn’t associated with physical dependence; however, that does not mean that treatment won’t be effective. Abusing any drug can lead someone to develop a psychological addiction, which can lead to an uncomfortable withdrawal period. In most cases, counseling and therapy can help to determine potential underlying issues that lead people to abuse drugs. If you or someone you know needs help, contact a local treatment center and speak to a medical professional about your options.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.