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                            Refrigerant Inhalant Abuse Reports


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National survays indicate that nearly

21.7 million americans aged 12 and

older have used inhalants at least once

in there lives. NDA's Monitoring the

the future (MTF) survey reveals that

13.1 percent of 8th-graders have used


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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KTLA) — It’s called huffing or bagging — a trend among kids and teens looking for a quick high by inhaling a chemical called Freon.

The dangerous practice is being blamed in the death of a 12-year-old girl from Victorville.

Kristal Salcido lived with her grandmother and cousins. The seventh grader found easy access to Freon from the air conditioning units in their backyard.

Kristal inhaled the chemical, later passing out in her grandma’s bathroom.

She was pronounced brain-dead at a local hospital. Her family made the difficult choice to take her off life support four days later.

Her family says there were never warning signs of Kristal’s dangerous behavior.

Friends at Mesa Linda Middle School remember Kristal as kind, vivacious and popular.

Unfortunately, Kristal isn’t alone in participating in this dangerous trend.

According to — an anti-drug website — one in five students has inhaled a chemical to get high by the eighth grade.

The consequences can be brain liver or heart damage and even death, as in Kristal’s case.

Ron Postoian and his sons own an air conditioning company.

Ron says he’s serviced plenty of units where the refrigerant had suspiciously been used up.

“When you inhale it, it kills your brain cells — that’s all,” Postoian explained.

He says something as simple as installing safety lock caps can prevent access to the Freon.

Kristal’s grandmother hopes parents are listening. She wishes she still had the chance to shield young Kristal from something so dangerous.

–Stefan Chase, KTLA News







Herman Lorenz had a problem with vandals around his Briarcliff home so he grabbed his camera and hid in his basement. What he discovered was shocking and disturbing.

"It's certainly shocking because people talk about drug problems. This is absolutely crazy! That's like drinking gasoline," said Lorenz.

Lorenz said about seven teenagers ages 14 and 15 were in his backyard huffing freon out of his air conditioning unit.

"The one kid who was laying behind the unit had his mouth against it and just sucking it in," said Lorenz. "The one kid laying on top, the freon was just spraying around and he was breathing it in."

Lorenz said at first he was taking a picture through a window from inside his basement. When he stepped out with his camera, he said the teens were so high they didn't realize what he was doing.

"You could watch them and they obviously didn't know what was going on. They were completely lost," said Lorenz.

Lorenz said all the teens go to Lakeside High School. He said Monday's incident was the second time in two weeks he caught them huffing freon out of his AC unit.

DeKalb County police identified and arrested four of the teens. They are charged with criminal trespass, destruction of property and theft.

Dr. Robert Geller is a pediatric professor with the Emory School of Medicine and the Medical Director at the Georgia Poison Center.

"What teens are unfortunately doing, they are breaking into refrigeration systems, AC systems, opening the valve letting the freon out and huffing it while it comes out of the valve," said Geller. "The problem is they think it's going to give them a safe high but it's not a safe high."

Geller said the growing trend can be deadly.

"Some teens have described it as causing a rapid high. The problem with the rapid high is sometimes it causes heart rhythm to be abnormal and it can make you drop dead from an abnormal heart rhythm when your heart stops beating correctly," said Geller.




Submitted by KFOR-TV, KFOR-TV

Monday, November 28th, 2011, 5:48pm

Topics: News


MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- Police investigate a tragic death in Midwest City. A 13-year-old boy died in his neighbors yard. Police believe the victim had been huffing Freon from an air conditioning unit.


Midwest City police released an emotional 911 call made by the boy's father.

Police hope it's a painful lesson to parents everywhere.

Here's a transcript of that call:

Dispatch: "Midwest City 911. Is this a medical emergency?"
Dad: "Well my son is missing. My teenage son. He's 13 and uh I haven't seen him since about 1:30 today(Screaming)"
Dad: "Hold on. Somebody's screaming that they found him."
Dispatch: "OK. I'll wait."
Dad: "Oh, please send an ambulance!"
Dispatch: "OK. What's going on?"
Dad: "Oh my God."
Dispatch: "What's going on?"
Dad: "It's our son! We just found the body across the street, in front of the neighbors house. He's dead!"
Dispatch: "OK. You're saying he's dead? Is there any blood around him?"
Dad: (Screaming) "His eyes are open. His lips are blue."
Dispatch: "Can you tell me what you think happened, Raymond?"
Dad: "I have no idea."

"The father called 911 to report his son missing," Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said. "During the call they obviously found the child at the neighbor's house. It was apparent he'd been tampering with the AC unit and Freon, based on the evidence on scene. It's just a horrible senseless death."

Trey King's family said they believe the teen and some friends saw a video on the internet exposing them to the deadly activity of huffing Freon.

"In the age of social media and the internet, people are doing all sorts of bad things they learned from the internet. This is a prime example of what can result, a senseless death," Clabes said.

Chief Clabes said he hopes releasing the 911 call encourages other parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of huffing.

"We hope every parent will explain to their child the dangers of inhaling intoxicants," Clabes said.

The chief said huffing Freon is also known by a slang phrase, "chasing the rat."

Any parent who hears their kid talking about the term should definitely speak up.

The boy's family did not want to talk about the death on camera on Monday.

A memorial service is planned later this week at Nicoma Park Middle School where Trey was a student.