Brace yourself: there’s a new teen trend emerging that is potentially life threatening. and it’s all just to get a quick high. Unfortunately, nearly every teen in America has access to it…because teens are huffing gas from air conditioning units.
“It will kill you,” air conditioning technician Lynn Morris of Morris Mechanical told WCNC of Charlotte, N.C. He became aware of the problem after his repairmen began to notice a pattern of low refrigerant in repair units; the only problem was, there usually wasn’t a leak.
Inhaling Freon is not only dangerous and unhealthy, it’s deadly. Huffing Freon produces a high that is similar to being drunk, but unlike alcohol, it can freeze the lungs or cause brain damage. Morris recalls the death of an Oklahoma teenager who died in November from huffing: “He was still in the yard next to the unit. So it is a one-time thing. You do it and it could kill you.”
Then there was Jacob Henry, 18, from California who died in September after huffing Freon.
“Huffing is a game of Russian roulette,” his mother warned. “Don’t ever consider doing it because that five seconds of high that you get when you do it, it isn’t worth dying over.”
According to reports, there were more than 2,000 people hospitalized in 2009 from Freon inhalation, and it’s on the rise. In 2010, there were more than 7,000 exposures to Freon and other propellants, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and nine people died.
Make sure your teens are aware of the dangers of huffing. One time is all it takes.