Kids Huff Freon to Get High - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale, IL

Kids Huff Freon to Get High

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Kids Huff Freon to Get High
By: Arnold Wyrick

CARBONDALE, Ill. - During these 'dog days of summer' air conditioning units are working overtime trying to keep homes and offices cooled down.

But many of those air conditioning units are becoming the target of kids wanting to drain the freon gas from inside and inhale it, sometimes with deadly results.

"They feel a euphoria, light-headiness and they may pass out.  But it's that euphoria that they're going after.  Unfortunately what these kids don't know is there is long term damage to the body from breathing in freon gas," said Doctor Donna Carney at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Authorities say the way the kids are using the gas to get high is by placing a plastic bag over their head.  Then they fill the bag with freon gas.  It's heavier than oxygen so it forces the oxygen out of the bag, leaving only the dangerous gas.

"Even the first time that they would do it they could die.  The long term if they continue to do this is memory problems, they can suffer permanent  liver damage, kidney damage, lung damage and brain damage.  And all is this is irreversible," Doctor Carney said.

For about $30 you can buy a locking mechanism to prevent access to the Freon in your air conditioner.

Signs of huffing include frostbite or whiteness around the nose and slurring of speech.  There could also be changes in behavior such as lying, running away or stealing.

Taking freon from another person's air conditioning unit is considered theft.

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