What are the Dangers of Gas Huffing?

Erin J. Hill

The dangers of gas huffing can range from temporary unconsciousness to brain damage and even death if performed frequently or for long enough periods of time. Like any chemical substance, an overdose can occur and cause serious and irreversible damage to the brain or lungs. Other dangers of gas huffing include heart failure and nervous system damage. These can occur even in very young children and adolescents, including those with no history of a heart condition.

Inhalant abuse is a huge problem that affects teens.
Inhalant abuse is a huge problem that affects teens.

Gas huffing is done as a recreational form of drug use and is most popular among young pre-teens and teenagers who cannot purchase or afford more conventional street drugs or alcohol. When gasoline is breathed into the lungs, either as a liquid or a vapor, it is immediately absorbed into blood vessels found inside the lungs. This leads to an almost instantaneous hallucinogenic high.

Users may die of suffocation if gas is inhaled in very large quantities.
Users may die of suffocation if gas is inhaled in very large quantities.

After a time the brain becomes accustomed to the euphoric feelings induced by the gasoline, and with continued use it will eventually become dependent. This means that users will often only feel “normal” or “happy” when they are high. Addiction is one of the primary dangers of gas huffing, because once someone is addicted to the behavior, it is very hard to gain control of the situation. With long-term use, users may eventually do serious damage to their bodies.

Huffing gas can lead to brain damage.
Huffing gas can lead to brain damage.

Another one of the most tragic dangers of gas huffing is the risk of becoming brain-damaged or mentally handicapped. As the brain is repeatedly exposed to the harsh fumes of the gas, brain cells become damaged and eventually die. Once the cells are gone, they do not grow back. If too many brain cells are damaged or killed, the person may lose some or all motor abilities, speech, and even the ability to feed himself or use the restroom without assistance.

Gas huffing has become popular among teens and those who can't afford street drugs or alcohol.
Gas huffing has become popular among teens and those who can't afford street drugs or alcohol.

Heart and nervous system failure are also potential dangers. As the gasoline and constant state of euphoria puts strain on the heart muscle by flooding blood vessels with toxins, it can become overworked and damaged. This can lead to heart attacks and even death. The nervous system is also affected as the brain produced chemicals in large amounts that the body is not equipped to handle.

Users may also die of suffocation if gas is inhaled in very large quantities. This is one of the most troubling dangers of gas huffing because a first time user can lose his life in the process if overdone. When too much of any gas is inhaled in place of oxygen, the lungs become overburdened with other fumes. This can cause asphyxiation, loss of consciousness, and eventually death if fresh air is not provided quickly enough.

Gas huffing is one kind of addiction faced by people who are homeless.
Gas huffing is one kind of addiction faced by people who are homeless.

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Discussion Comments


I was in high school when I heard my friend tell me about huffing gas. He described it as "whatever you're thinking about, you'll see it, so cool." so naturally, being the easily influenced dumb 9th grader that I was, I went home and tried it.

It started in my garage just huffing it, and I never hallucinated much at first, which angered me and led me to do it more, hoping to see something. Eventually after about a week of doing it, I zoned out like crazy one day and tripped balls. This excited the hell out of me, but I didn't have anyone to talk to but myself, and eventually I started talking to... objects. I started talking to items in my garage and giving them names, doing all kinds of crazy crap. Then I moved outside and started talking to the trees, during my huffing experience. It was the most amazing and mysterious thing I have ever experienced in my life and I am still to this day trying to process all of it.

I hate gas. It's very strange though, how I quit. Occasionally these trees would literally talk back to me, and out of all the things they said to me, I remember like it was yesterday it saying something that sent chills down my back, it legit yelled "You need to stop huffing gas." Nothing more than that and I heard a loud deep boom and haunting laughter, as if all the trees were laughing at me, but in a very strange way, talking to these trees and giving them names helped me stop and I honestly still believe that "they" were actually out to help me. Stupid, I know. But it just goes to show you the kind of crap that huffing this chemical can make you believe, and the same for any other hard drug, in fact. After that experience I broke down and promised myself never to touch it again, and I didn't. Kids, don't do this. This is literally brain damage in a can, and it will get you nowhere.

Gasoline is my worst enemy, for life. I huffed gas for a total of 3 months. and as of August 2019, I am 7 years clean.


I used to huff gas when I was about 7-8 years old. It started when I was finished riding my ATV one day and as per usual I would check my gas as instructed by my father, to make sure I had enough. The smell really enticed me one day and i just put my mouth to the hole and began huffing. (This isn't exactly how it went, but for lengths sake let's just say I knew to go straight to huffing).

Every time I would huff I would have the same(ish) hallucination. Out of nowhere I was seemingly in the middle of a body of water, but it wasn't bad. There were huge waves with surfers, and many beautiful women. There was also this harmonic sound, I could never figure out what it was, even to this day. I've never heard the sound in my life (that I can remember), besides when I was huffing.

It didn't take too long for me to come to, and when I did I hopped right back on my ATV and began huffing again. This went on a week or so (once or twice a day). One day my family and I were watching a movie and they said it reeked like gas, and everyone figured out pretty quick that it was me. I admitted to have been huffing gas and that was pretty much the end of that. No addiction or life ruining events. I'm now 24 and graduating from college this year.


Sadly I just huffed gasoline. It's the trippiest thing I have ever done. and I don't plan on doing it again. I can practically feel my brain cells dying and I'm worrying if I'll ever come down from this.


I huffed gas when I was twelve years old. Someone at school told me it was the coolest thing ever and that you would see stuff. I tried it and saw tons of cool stuff, in my opinion. Me and my friend kept doing it. I did it for about a month on the weekends, usually, and one month later I was failing every single one of my classes and had to do summer school. And I was a straight "A" student every year.

The point is I wish I never ever tried this stuff. It's taking away a lot from my life. If anyone is thinking about trying it, don't. You'll hallucinate, but you won't notice the damage until later, and for me, the damage was terrible. Don't try this crap, really, seriously don't try it. If anything, just pot and beer. Not all the crazy crap that will take something away from your life. I hate gas.


I can't believe the gas stations don't enforce an age limit for gasoline purchases if they know young kids might be taking it home and inhaling the fumes. It's perfectly legal for a preteen to take a gas can to a station and fill it up with enough gas to kill half their brain cells.

I've heard that there is now a chemical added to gasoline that makes huffers very sick, which is why many of them have switched to spray paint. It's a horrible habit, and it's damaging a lot of good people out there.


I had a friend in high school who told me she huffed gas when she was in the fifth grade. She would fill up a small gas can and take it to a neighbor's garage. It never took too long for her to get higher than a kite, she told me.

She was in her mid-teens when I met her, and I could tell there was something wrong with her mind. She couldn't stay focused on anything for very long. She'd stare off into space every once in a while. I found out later that she had graduated to harder drugs and alcohol by ninth grade. It all started with gas huffing.

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