Multiple incidents of 'huffing' air duster reported

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Huffing is an addictive habit that has put other drivers at risk here in Southwest Florida.

People who "huff" are sniffing or inhaling chemicals found in household products. Experts say huffing gives people the sensation of being drunk, hallucinations or even causes people to black out.

Reports show a woman in Estero was arrested for being under the influence of inhalants. Deputies discovered three bottles of air dust cleaner and later determined the woman was huffing before running over a bush and crashing into another car.

A week and a half earlier, deputies responded to a similar incident involving the same woman. Deputies found her slumped over the wheel of her jeep holding a red and white cleaning duster aerosol can in her right hand.

Lt. Greg Bueno with Florida Highway Patrol says they haven't seen any recent cases but knows of cases of drivers huffing in the past. He says huffing is just as bad as drinking and driving.

"It puts everyone in the immediate vicinity in danger," Lt. Bueno said.

Four In Your Corner spoke with substance abuse expert Steven Hill, with Salus Care, who says there are cases in Southwest Florida. The most common cases deal with people using computer duster and canned whipped cream to get high. The less common item used is hair spray.

"Huffing can cause the sensation of being drunk and hallucinations due to the lack of blood flow to the brain," Hill said. "Every time you huff you run the risk of sudden death. Many people don't really know that."

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