dust off addiction

Inhalant abuse involves the use of various aerosol spray products, inhaling the fumes to achieve a short-lived high.  Of the different types of household products that kids and teens may abuse, Dust-Off is one of the most popular. Dust Off addiction develops when the individual repeatedly seeks to experience a high through “dusting” (also referred to as inhaling or huffing).  As they continue to practice this form of dangerous substance abuse, their behaviors surrounding it become compulsive, the main feature in addictive behavior.

Kids begin inhaling the poisonous gases in order to experience a rush.  The effects include euphoria, hallucinations, relaxation, and a sense of peacefulness.  Because the fumes of the gas go straight from the capillaries in the lungs directly into the bloodstream, the effects come on quickly and last only 15-30 minutes.  For that reason, kids may repeat the action multiple times to experience a constant, longer lasting high. Dust Off addiction can be extremely dangerous, as the chemicals or gases the individual is inhaling are highly toxic.  Knowing the warning signs that may indicate a teen is engaging in dusting or huffing can potentially save a life.

What Is Dust-Off?

Dust-Off is the commercial brand name of an aerosol product referred to as canned air.  In reality, the product is a refrigerant that is dispensed in cans with a straw-like attachment for cleaning dirt and dust from computers, keyboards, electronics, and other household items that cannot be cleaned in a traditional manner.  This compressed gas is made of difluoroethane and a propellant, tetraflouroethane.

Dust-Off has been on the market since 1970, developed initially for cleaning photography equipment. The manufacturer, Falcon Safety Products, added a bitterant to the product in response to the dangerous inhalant abuse that was occurring, hoping the unpleasant scent would deter kids and teens from wanting to inhale it.

Signs of Dust Off Addiction

Parents can keep an eye out for certain signs that their adolescent may be abusing inhalants.  These warning signs include:

  • Finding rags soaked in chemicals
  • Dazed appearance
  • Mood swings
  • Finding empty cans of Dust-Off or other inhalants around the house or in teen’s car
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • High risk behaviors
  • Change in group of friends
  • Notice that cans of Dust-Off or other aerosol household products running out faster than usual
  • Hoarse voice
  • Chemical odor on clothing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Clumsy, staggering
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Declining academic performance
  • Secretive behavior
  • Change in hygiene habits

Dangerous Effects of Inhalant Abuse

Young people who experiment with or abuse Dust-Off are playing Russian roulette with their health and their lives.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 100-200 people die each year from inhalant abuse.  Even a single huffing incident can result in a fatality, called sudden sniffing death.  

Short-term side effects from Dust-Off (canned air) abuse include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Chest pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache
  • Garbled speech
  • Tremors
  • Impulsive and risky behaviors that result in injury

Life-threatening events can occur quickly with dusting.  These include:

  • Suffocation
  • Seizures
  • Asphyxiation
  • Oxygen deprivation to the brain
  • Coma
  • Death

When a person becomes addicted to dusting or hugging, they can experience serious health effects.  Long-term effects of Dust-Off abuse include:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Irreversible neurological damage
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Bone marrow toxicity
  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Damage to the central nervous system, impacting motor, sensory, and cognitive functions

Treatment for Dust Off Addiction

When a young person develops a problem with abusing inhalants, including Dust-Off, they likely need treatment to help them change the destructive compulsive behaviors that keep them returning to dusting.  Addiction programs that are designed for adolescents can be more relevant to the teen, as these programs incorporate treatment modalities that are age and developmental stage-specific.

Teen addiction programs can be either outpatient or inpatient.  The outpatient program provides more flexibility in scheduling therapy and other treatment activities, allowing the teen to continue to go to school while in the program.  For more serious substance abuse or addiction an inpatient treatment program offers housing and a higher standard of care.

Either rehab formats emphasize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for helping young people assess the disordered behavioral response to certain stressors or triggers; or faulty thought patterns that also lead to relying on substance use.  Once these thought-behavior patterns are identified and discussed in therapy, the teen will be shown techniques to change those dysfunctional patterns and establish productive responses to stressors.

The Treatment Specialist Will Locate Treatment for Inhalant Abuse

The Treatment Specialist helps individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse or addiction, as well as mental health disorders.  With a decade of industry experience, the knowledgeable specialists can guide parents toward the most appropriate treatment program for their child or teen.  The locator service is absolutely free, as is the online assessment and the insurance benefits review. To get help for your child today, contact The Treatment Specialist at (866) 644-7911.

About the Author

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *