Dust Off, used to Clean Computers, is Teens’ Latest Choice of Substance to Abuse by Dusting
The term “huffing” has been around for ages. It is an act of inhaling; most popularly spray paint or any other inhalant, to achieve a high. It is be done by limiting air supply to the lungs and inhaling large gusts of the inhalant. The new fad amongst teens is dusting. Teens and adolescents are taking Dust Off or other computer dusters and they are inhaling it. The term dusting was a play off of the product, Dust Off. It can be done by putting the little straw into the mouth and pulling the trigger on the can. The high from dusting usually lasts about 10 seconds. Dusting may not seem worthwhile, but it is easy for teens to walk into a store and buy the can of Dust Off.
Why is dusting so harmful?
Many kids are under the impression that by dusting, they are just inhaling compressed air. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a chemical inside of the can, a propellant called difluoroethane, a freon type gas that is also used as a refrigerant. It is an extremely heavy gas that fills the lungs when inhaled, and prevents oxygen from entering. The lack of oxygen to the lungs prevents it from getting to the brain, which can result in death. It can also cause irregular heart rhythms that can results in cardiac arrest. There is no telling which “hit” will be the last. Any one time could be the fatal inhalation because there is not “overdosing”. In the United Kingdom, where deaths associated with these substances are tracked, 39 percent of the deaths occurred during the victim’s first time.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that inhalant experimentation is initiated earlier than any other illicit substance. A higher percentage of 12 and 13 year olds have used inhalants and dusting than marijuana.
The most effective way to combat dusting – educate your children on how harmful it can be and that the first try can easily be the last try. Spreading the word about dusting to as many people as possible will help the education process
Here are some warning signs of dusting:
- Disappearance of the product at a rapid rate
- Empty cans or containers of chemicals in trash cans
- Large stashes of a chemical product in the child’s room
- Strange smells on or around a child
- Residue of the product on a child’s clothing or face
- Complaints of numbness of the tongue, vocal chords or throat (due to freezer burn)
- Dazed looks or bloodshot eyes
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