Naked and Afraid contestant Melanie Rauscher, 35, died from ‘huffing’ air canisters

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Naked and Afraid contestant Melanie Rauscher, 35, died from ‘huffing’ air canisters

Naked and Afraid contestant Melanie Rauscher died from huffing air canisters while dog sitting in Arizona, an autopsy report confirmed. The Yavap

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Naked and Afraid contestant Melanie Rauscher died from huffing air canisters while dog sitting in Arizona, an autopsy report confirmed. 

The Yavapai County Medical Examiner said Rauscher, 35 – who was found dead near cans of dust cleaner on July 17 in Prescott, Arizona – said the reality TV star had inhaled the toxic propellants, TMZ reported.  

It led to death by difluoroethane toxicity, better known as ‘huffing,’ a cheap way for people to get high by inhaling dust cleaning sprays. 

Rauscher was a contestant on the Discovery Channel survival series in 2017, as well as its spinoff show XL in 2018. 

An autopsy report confirmed Melanie Rauscher, 35, a contestant on Naked and Afraid, died from huffing air canisters while dog sitting in Arizona

An autopsy report confirmed Melanie Rauscher, 35, a contestant on Naked and Afraid, died from huffing air canisters while dog sitting in Arizona

The reality TV star was watching over a couple's dog in Prescott while they were on vacation. They returned to find her dead in a bedroom near cans of dust cleaner

The reality TV star was watching over a couple’s dog in Prescott while they were on vacation. They returned to find her dead in a bedroom near cans of dust cleaner

Rauscher was a contestant on the Discovery survival series in 2017, as well as its spinoff show XL in 2018. Pictured: a promo featuring Rauscher, a recreation specialist

Rauscher was a contestant on the Discovery survival series in 2017, as well as its spinoff show XL in 2018. Pictured: a promo featuring Rauscher, a recreation specialist 

Rauscher had been staying at the Prescott home and caring for the owners’ dog while they were away on vacation.

They found her found her body on a bed after they returned from their trip. 

There has been a recent crackdown on preventing young people from getting high on gas canisters, with New York banning anyone under 21 from purchasing whipped cream cannisters. 

‘Laughing gas’ or ‘hippy crack’ can be inhaled by discharging nitrous gas cartridges, known as ‘whippets’.

Inhaling the gas can cause low blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and sudden death.

New York has banned anyone under 21 from purchasing whipped cream cannisters amid alarming report that one in five young people use gas cartridges to get high

New York has banned anyone under 21 from purchasing whipped cream cannisters amid alarming report that one in five young people use gas cartridges to get high 

Any store who sells a whipped cream cannister to someone under 21 will find themselves being handed a $250 fine for the first offence. Subsequent violations can mean fines of up to $500 for each contravention of the state-wide law

Any store who sells a whipped cream cannister to someone under 21 will find themselves being handed a $250 fine for the first offence. Subsequent violations can mean fines of up to $500 for each contravention of the state-wide law

According to that Alcohol and Drug Foundation the potential long term effects can lead to memory loss and psychosis.

Approximately one in five young people have used inhalants by the time they turn 13, or reach eighth grade, according to the DEA.

Any store who sells a whipped cream cannister to someone under 21 in New York will find themselves being handed a $250 fine for the first offence.

Subsequent violations can mean fines of up to $500 for each contravention of the state-wide law according to the Albany Times Union.

Following reports of her death, fellow constant and long-time friend Jeremy McCaa (left) said he was 'feeling broken' by the loss of Rauscher

Following reports of her death, fellow constant and long-time friend Jeremy McCaa (left) said he was ‘feeling broken’ by the loss of Rauscher 

McCaa, who appeared alongside Rauscher in the seventh season of Naked and Afraid

McCaa, who appeared alongside Rauscher in the seventh season of Naked and Afraid 

Rauscher returned to the show through its spinoff. Pictured: Rauscher alongside Naked and Afraid XL costar Dustin 'Duck' Campbell in 2018

Rauscher returned to the show through its spinoff. Pictured: Rauscher alongside Naked and Afraid XL costar Dustin ‘Duck’ Campbell in 2018

Following reports of her death, fellow constant and long-time friend Jeremy McCaa said he was ‘feeling broken’ by the loss of a ‘strong woman’ and ‘amazing person.’

McCaa, who appeared alongside Rauscher in the seventh season of Naked and Afraid, posted a heartfelt tribute to her on social media, describing how their relationship ‘blossomed’ from costars to friends.

‘She came into my life in a way I can’t explain,’ he wrote. ‘We had such a chemistry on the show and it blossomed into a friendship that goes beyond words could describe.’

The survivalist said he regarded Rauscher as ‘family’ and knew he ‘could always count on her.’

‘We had so many moments when we would just be there for each other,’ he said. ‘She was my swamp wife, a best friend, a strong woman, an amazing person and I’ll always cherish our moments together.’ 

‘Her laughter was one of a kind. Her friendship was amazing.’

What are the risks of inhaling ‘hippy crack’? 

Nitrous Oxide, has been nicknamed ‘laughing gas’ due to the euphoric and relaxed feeling people who inhale it can sometimes feel.

The substance – also known as ‘hippy crack’ – is normally bought in pressured canisters, commonly transferred to a container, e.g. a balloon, from which the gas is inhaled.

The effects of nitrous oxide vary depending on how much has been inhaled but they include:

• Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness.

• Dizziness, difficulty in thinking straight and fits of giggles/laughter.

• Sound distortions or even hallucinations. 

Risks include:

• Unconsciousness or death from lack of oxygen. This occurs when the available oxygen for breathing is effectively pushed out by the nitrous oxide.

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