Despite the dangers of inhalant abuse, it has gained attention due to its potential for dangerous and unintended side effects. Among the various volatile substances used for inhalation, air dusters – commonly found in households and offices for cleaning electronic devices – have emerged as a concerning cause of accidental “highs.” Today, the drug experts at our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida are delving into inhalant abuse and the effects of accidentally inhaling air duster. Keep reading to learn more about the chemical composition, mechanisms of action, and the serious health implications of breathing air duster.
What Are Air Dusters?
Also called “canned air,” “compressed air,” and “dusting gas,” an air duster is an aerosol duster that provides a pressurized blast of air that removes dust, dirt, and debris. Air dusters are commonly used to clean areas where dust collects in hard-to-reach places, such as between keys on a computer keyboard. Air dusters are canisters filled with compressed gas that typically contain difluoroethane, trifluoroethane, or tetrafluoroethane.
These gases are liquefied under pressure and released as a powerful stream of gas when the trigger of an air duster is pressed. The purpose of an air duster is to clean delicate devices, such as computers, keyboards, cameras, printers, and other electronics. The forceful stream of gas that’s released when the canister trigger is pressed dislodges particles without making physical contact or causing potential damage.
What Happens If You Accidentally Inhale Air Duster?
Many individuals seeking a unique drug experience will inhale or “huff” substances that aren’t typical recreational substances. One of these substances is from an air duster.
While effective for cleaning tight spaces and sensitive objects, it’s important to handle air dusters with care because they contain gases that can be harmful when misused. A range of adverse health effects can occur due to the product’s chemical composition.
What happens when you inhale air duster includes:
- Asphyxiation: Inhaling air duster can displace oxygen in the lungs and bloodstream, reducing oxygen supply to vital organs and tissues. This can result in symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and even loss of consciousness.
- Hypoxia: Hypoxia can occur as a result of asphyxiation. Hypoxia is a condition where the body’s cells are deprived of adequate oxygen, resulting in tissue damage and organ dysfunction.
- Neurological effects: Difluoroethane and other chemicals in air duster can directly impact the central nervous system, causing symptoms like dizziness, disorientation, blurred vision, headaches, and impaired coordination.
- Cardiovascular effects: Inhaling chemicals from an air duster can affect the heart, leading to irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and even heart attacks, particularly in people with pre-existing heart conditions.
- Respiratory problems: Inhalation of chemicals in air duster can irritate the respiratory tract, leading to coughing, wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. It can also trigger asthma attacks or worsen existing respiratory conditions.
- Substance abuse: Inhaling air duster is on our list of weird drugs people use to get high, and for good reason. Not only is this an odd substance of choice for recreational use, but the dangers far outweigh any potential high it could cause. Accidentally inhaled air duster is just that. An accident. Deliberately inhaling air duster to get high is a form of volatile substance abuse. Prolonged or repeated inhalation can cause long-term damage to the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.
If you suspect someone has accidentally inhaled air duster, seek medical attention immediately. In severe cases, professional medical intervention may be required to stabilize the individual’s condition and prevent life-threatening complications. It’s also worth noting that prevention is the most effective approach, so be sure to store and use air dusters in a safe and controlled manner and avoid inhaling them intentionally or accidentally.
Why Does Air Duster Get You High?
Air duster gets you “high” because of the difluoroethane and other volatile chemicals it contains. Difluoroethane is a hydrofluorocarbon that can lead to psychoactive side effects. The mechanism by which it induces a “high” involves its effects on the central nervous system and the brain.
When inhaled, difluoroethane rapidly evaporates and cools within the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, which includes the throat and lungs. What’s in air duster that gets you high is difluoroethane, particularly its cooling effect and numbing sensation, which causes brief euphoria. However, these initial sensations are often followed by a range of side effects due to the chemical’s impact on the body.
We also want to point out that the “high” caused by inhaling air duster is accompanied by various health risks and potentially life-threatening symptoms. The immediate and long-term health hazards overshadow the short-lasting pleasurable sensations. These dangers include oxygen deprivation, asphyxiation, neurological damage, and cardiovascular complications.
How Long Does Air Duster High Last?
An air duster high is usually short-lived, usually lasting a few minutes. However, the altered state of consciousness induced by inhaling air duster can vary widely depending on factors like the individual’s physiology and the amount and concentration of the inhaled chemicals.
Typically, inhaling air duster or similar volatile substances leads to a rapid onset of side effects. Air duster effects can kick in within seconds to minutes after inhalation, leading to reactions like euphoria, dizziness, altered perceptions, and detachment from reality. The chemicals are quickly metabolized and leave the bloodstream, causing the pleasurable effects to dissipate rapidly.
While the high from inhaling air duster is short-lived, the repercussions are not. Individuals who engage in volatile substance abuse are at risk of long-term physical and neurological problems, addiction, and even death as a result of these chemicals’ effects on the body.
Get Help for Substance Abuse
Volatile substances like air dusters also act as gateway drugs for many individuals, encouraging them to use hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. Individuals who frequently experiment with substances to get high are more likely to try out these more dangerous recreational substances.
If you or someone you know is battling any substance use disorder, our Florida luxury drug and alcohol rehab can help. We offer a wide range of addiction treatment services, including luxury detox, psychotherapy programs, aftercare services, and more. With lush amenities and sleeping quarters, our high-end rehab can offer you or a loved one an exemplary and effective rehabilitation experience.