Aria Doherty, of Porter Ranch, Calif. was found dead in her home after huffing from a can of compressed-air duster. ‘I’m positive my daughter didn’t realize it had the potential to kill her,’ mom Carolyn Doherty said.
A Los Angeles area honors student died Monday night after inhaling from a can of compressed-air computer keyboard cleaner to get high, authorities say.
A sibling found 14-year-old Aria Doherty in bed with her nostrils taped shut and a can of compressed air still clinging to her mouth. She apparently died of cardiac arrest, KTLA reports.
Doherty was home alone when the tragic event happened. Her parents believe it was her first time “huffing” — a slang term for the deadly practice of sniffing household products to get a quick and accessible high. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, inhaling products like glue, hair sprays, and nail polish can be fatal even the first time.
“I’m positive my daughter didn’t realize it had the potential to kill her,” mom Carolyn Doherty told NBC Los Angeles.
The Dohertys had talked with all three of their teenage daughters about substance abuse. They kept prescription drugs locked away and recently purged their Porter Ranch, Calif. home of alcohol. The family doesn’t own any dangerous weapons.
But the dangers of “huffing” took them completely off guard.
“We didn’t know,” Carolyn said. “But clearly, the kids do know.”
Aria was a straight-A student at Nobel Charter Middle School in Northridge, Calif. She was an actress and a writer. She also had dreams of becoming a surgeon, NBC reports.
After losing their daughter, the Dohertys are encouraging other parents to talk to their kids about how dangerous inhalants can be.
“I would give anything to have her back,” said Richard Doherty, Aria’s father. “It just took her, like that.”
More than 2.6 million children ages 12 to 17 use an inhalant to get high every year, according to inhalant.org, an advocacy site run by the Alliance for Consumer Education. One in four American students reportedly abuse household products by the time they reach eighth grade.
Another southern California girl, aged 12, died earlier this month after inhaling Freon from an air conditioner.