Grieving mother shares story of son’s deadly addiction to huffing

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A grieving mother is sharing the story of her son's addiction to huffing to warn others of the potentially deadly dangers.

Debbie Trammel saw our report on Fox 2/News 11 on a man arrested 17 times for huffing, after he was caught getting high from compressed air cans in public places, but not charged because there are no laws against huffing in Missouri.

Huffing killed Trammel's son, Staff Sgt. Joshua Humphries, four years ago, when he was 37-years-old. He left behind five young children. She hopes her son's story serves as a wakeup call so no other family has to go through what she has.

Humphries served in the Army for 18 years. He has several tours to Iraq and Afghanistan but was eventually medically discharged for his struggle with PTSD.

Trammel said huffing became her son's escape.

"He was haunted by the things he'd seen," she said. "He couldn't cope. He was the most haunted person I've ever met."

One day Trammel said she found him huffing in her house. When she told him he couldn't get high in her home, he left.

"I know that he was embarrassed and humiliated and that was the last time I saw him," said Trammel.

His body was later found on his property in southern Missouri inside a tent with compressed air cans surrounding him.

She fears the man caught huffing in public may have the same fate as her son if someone doesn't intervene or if laws don't change.

"I would have hung onto my son and never let him go if I knew I was going to lose him," said Trammel.