Many Young Drug Users are Into "Dusting"

Dusting cleaner is a small, cheap product used to clean computer keyboards, audio devices, and other electrical equipment, but it's also being used for what is called 'dusting' or inhaling to get high.

Young drug users see it as a cheap, easy, and quick way to get a buzz. Found at most office supply stores, the main ingredient in a can is not air, but freon - powerful substance that can affect the heart when inhaled.

Dr. Michael Iversen, Woodland Heights Medical Center physician, said, "The heart will start beating very, very fast in small portions of the heart muscle; they don't all work together and when the heart doesn't work together and completely contract like it should, it doesn't pump any blood around in your system and your brain doesn't get any blood. Within three minutes - if you don't get that recirculating - your brain will die."

Surveys conducted by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council show kids as young as nine and ten years old are now into dusting. The high usually only lasts about 10 seconds, but the affects from inhaling can last much longer.

Phyllis Grandgeorge, A.D.A.C. director, said, "You get a fourth grader who begins to inhale and that eats a hole in that little brain. When they become 18 or 20, you're looking at a life of mental illness, and that's what parents have to recognize - the damage that inhalants cause is just so irreversible."

Inhalants are considered a gateway drug. They are easily addictive and easy to find. Many kids start abusing them accidentally. That's why a lot of schools have eliminated student access to markers, glue, and paint products. Now drug awareness experts are encouraging parents to do the same at home.