A 12-year-old Hesperia, Calif. girl is dead after using her family’s air conditioning unit to get high in early March.
The act of getting high from an air conditioner is called “huffing” or “bagging”. The name comes from the process of putting a bag over the air conditioner and then breathing in the collected freon vapors from the bag.
The victim’s grandmother said that her granddaughter, Kristal Salcido, seemed so innocent and showed no signs of drug abuse. The grandmother said she walked into the bathroom and found Kristal lying unconscious on the floor.
Although the seventh grade student of Mesa Linda Middle School was rushed to the hospital, she was immediately declared brain dead. Kristal’s family decided to take her off of life support four days later.
According to inhalant.org, an organization which seeks to inform the public about the dangerous act of using inhalants to get high reports that well over a half a million children, ages 12 – 17, have tried some form of inhalant to get high in the last 12 months.
Using such chemical to get high can be instantly fatal, even the first time a child tries it. Abusing air conditioning units is one of the leading causes of what is called “sudden sniffing death syndrome”, which results in immediate death by cardiac arrest.
Kristal’s older sister said that Kristal learned how to huff from cousins, ages 11 through 13, who had tried it before.