Dangers of “Huffing” Compressed Air in the Wake of Aaron Carter’s Death

Dangers of “Huffing” Compressed Air in the Wake of Aaron Carter’s Death

What exactly is “Huffing” and what can we learn from Aaron Carter’s untimely death? The singer was tragically lost after a concerning resurgence in huffing and apparent substance use. Here we would like to discuss Carter’s struggle with addiction and the dangers of “Huffing” compressed air canisters.

Aaron Carter’s Struggle With Addiction and Untimely Death

Aaron Carter was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene of his California home on Saturday, November 5th. Police found aerosol and compressed air canisters, as well as several medications at the scene. Many close to the star are speculating about a return to substance use. An official autopsy and cause of death are yet to be released but Carter reportedly has an extensive history of struggling with addiction.

At 34, Aaron Carter openly spoke about his substance use and huffing addiction. Allegedly, the child star’s untimely death is a culmination of unprocessed trauma and increasingly tenuous support from family and friends. Carter’s old brother, Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter is quoted as saying, “I have always held onto the hope, that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed,” in a social media post on Sunday. 

Several people close to the singer recount seeing Carter “huffing” off-screen on an Instagram live video in October. Melanie Martin, Aaron Carter’s by all accounts estranged fiance is quoted expressing her concern over the star’s well-being. Carter recently lost custody of his 11-month-old son and was purportedly dealing poorly with the ten-year anniversary of his sister’s death. 

What Does “Huffing” Mean?

The term “Huffing” is a term that appears frequently in the articles detailing Aaron Carter’s tragic death. But what does this term mean and why were his family and friends so concerned about it? Well, “Huffing” is a term that describes the act of inhaling compressed air from aerosol canisters resulting in a strong but short-lived high. The slang term “Whippet” is also common to describe inhalant use, in reference to whipped cream cans. These inhalants include:

  • Volatile solvents: chemicals that become vapor or gas at room temperature, including spray paints, glue, lighter fluid/gasoline, felt-tip markers, or paint thinners
  • Aerosols: spray deodorants, insect repellent, hair spray, etc
  • Gases: generally nitrous oxide, most commonly produced by empty whipped cream cans
  • Nitrites: isoamyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, or cyclohexyl nitrite, generally in a medical setting

Dangers and Long-Term Effects

The greatest risk of death when using or abusing inhalants is when they are misused. It is possible to die as a result of inhaling or huffing toxic chemicals during first-time use, or when complications arise years later. Abusing inhalants can cause heart failure from tissue death or overstimulation of the muscles, or it can cause suffocation from oxygen displacement in the lungs as a result of inhalants absorbing faster than oxygen. As a result of inhalant abuse, sudden sniffing death syndrome can occur with first-time use.

The buildup of inhalants in the brain can cause breathing, heartbeat, and other vital bodily functions to cease, resulting in comas or death. As a result of toxic buildup in the brain, quality of life reduces severely and early death can occur.

Short-Term Dangers of Huffing Include:

  • Emotional changes
  • Delirium
  • Impaired judgment/inhibition
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stupor

Long-Term Effects of Huffing Include:

  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Heart problems (fluid buildup, arrhythmia)
  • Brain damage
  • Kidney or liver damage/failure
  • Poor oxygen saturation in the lungs
  • Bone marrow damage

Recovery With Nova

At Nova Recovery Center, Houston we provide our patients with a very comfortable detox process, where medical professionals provide monitoring and care around the clock. You will be provided with all the medications you need to combat the withdrawal symptoms. You will then be enrolled in the in-patient recovery program where you’ll learn to stay away from drugs, through counseling, group therapy, and so on.

Nova Recovery Center commits to helping you overcome your addiction so you can get back to what is most important to you. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, Nova Recovery Center can provide support. We have locations in Austin, Houston, and Wimberley Texas. Call today to begin your journey in recovery at (888) 428-1501.

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