Andrew Barnes was driving the wrong way down the street and took no action to avoid the crash. Police officers suspected he was driving under the influence, but when a blood test detected no more than marijuana in his system, the officers were stumped.
Police later found two cans of compressed air in Barnes’ car. Further blood tests showed he was high on the aerosol used to clean computer keyboards. The sprays are harmless if used properly. But, the can contain difluoroethane, a chemical that causes an instant high, or even death, if sucked into the lungs.
This new drug craze is popularly called “huffing,” or “dusting.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released data showing that, in 2005, 1.1 million kids huffed household products, including furniture polish, dust remover, and air fresheners. Some of them died.