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bethalex4

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
I just want to share my story for anyone who is feeling hopeless. Also .... more awareness is needed regarding the fact that ANY age group/gender/socioeconomic class can be hit by this.

I was 33 years old when I became addicted to duster. I am a master's level college graduate who was an elementary school counselor at the time that I hit rock bottom. I was found in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, passed out from the duster that I had just purchased inside, and arrested after work one day, still in my professional clothes with my work badge on. I was immediately put on "paid leave" by my school district after the police informed them of what happened. (which I was angry about at the time - why would they rat me out like that?? I now know my anger was very misguided)

Before this (first) arrest, I can recall inhaling duster while driving to work. On the highway! Passing out and hitting construction barrels. My car was getting all banged up and I would just make excuses to friends and co-workers. Its an absolute miracle that I didn't kill myself or anyone else on the road. I think at first I didn't even realize that I would pass out. After I was put on leave from work I possessed the trilogy of an addict's hell - steady paycheck, nothing but time, and no one to talk to about it all (my perception of the situation anyway). I would buy a 3-pack of duster every morning and go to a hotel. I went around to different stores so I didn't become too obvious at one place. I lost days at a time. I would "come to" usually early afternoon (surrounded by empty cans - angry that it was all gone) and go to the nearest Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens etc. to get more. Sometimes I couldn't even make it back to the hotel and would just do it in my car. If I made it back to the hotel I would wake up with injuries from passing out. This all resulted in more arrests and several hospitalizations. With the support of my family, who now knew about everything because it had become impossible to hide, I attended rehabilitation. Inpatient and outpatient, as well as individual mental health counseling. It has been a long road. I relapsed several times only to result in more arrests and hospitalizations. The amount of money spent on legal fees, medical bills, rehabilitation (not to mention the cans themselves, wrecked cars, etc.) is absolutely insurmountable and I get sick just thinking about it. 

In my VERY early recovery I got married (which "they" don't recommend - big life decisions etc. etc.) and 6 months later got pregnant with my first baby. That is also definitely not recommended in early recovery. BUT by the grace of God this seemed to be the final stepping stone to me never looking back toward using this horrible substance. I am still married to the same (VERY supportive) man and we have two babies under the age of 2. I still have urges to use duster simply due to the euphoric and addictive chemical impact on the brain. But my family and my higher power keep me from going back. Because if I do, the downward spiral will come back with a vengeance. I have no doubt in my mind. I am sickened by the idea of my babies losing their mommy to jail, loss of custody, or death. I am also working on my master's degree in chemical dependency counseling which I think really keeps me in my right mind regarding all of this.

I know this is long but I just wanted to share. Please reach out to someone if you are experiencing this nightmare. There is hope and I am proof. I thought I was beyond help but here I am. Don't isolate yourself if you're doing this stuff!! Talk to someone ... anyone!! Also know that relapses may happen but if they do, just get right back on the good path. 

I put my family through hell with all of this and all I can do now to make amends is remain out of harm's way. If I would have died it would have been them who would still be living the nightmare today... 

There is hope!!! Talk to someone!!!  
Kelleylynn

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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for sharing your story! I am so glad you beat that nightmare can!! My daughter was 22 and passed away September 12 2017. Due to huffing duster! Worst day of my life. It was just something she couldn't beat! I am now raising her 3 year old son. I miss her everyday!!! I have been emailing the Dr Phil show everyday for months asking for them to do a show on this horrible can. Several people have died from using several people have lost everything. I just feel it shouldn't be left out for the public to freely buy. If you or anyone having a story with duster PLEASE email the Dr Phil show at tell your story!! Maybe having a show on it drawing national attention that there's a huge problem something will change with the laws or the company will have to come up with new formula!! Again thanks for sharing I am very proud of you!! I know how evil the stuff is !
bethalex4

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
I am so so very sorry for your loss.... It's just heartbreaking and I can't even begin to say that I know how you feel. Many prayers to you and your grandson. Ok, I like your idea of getting this issue out there via something like the Dr. Phil show. I will write in and express my willingness to share my story and my desire to bring publicity to this issue. Duster does NOT get the exposure needed for how big of a problem it actually is!!!!!

Love and prayers and once again I am so sorry for the untimely loss of your precious girl...
ceci0729

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Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for sharing about your experience, sounds like you just wrote about my boyfriends life, but it was actually your story. He is dead now, was 19 months yesterday that he passed. I will be raising awareness on this can this year, and will be publishing a book about dusting as well. If either of you are willing, I’m hopimg I can talk with you and hear your stories; key things you would like the world to know.
I’m a clinical psychologist and I’m in the field of healing and recovery. Addiction is one of my areas of focus.
God bless you both. One step at a time, and if you are willing, have faith that God is with you every step of the way, to guide you, love you and protect you...
You can email me if you are interested in sharing what only you have loved. I believe we use our stories to help others; nothing is wasted, even our pain...

Claudia

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Cc
Kelleylynn

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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #5 
I am willing to do whatever it takes to bring awareness to this issue! I would love to read your book. Duster is the evilest drug available I believe. It takes hold of your mind it's available for purchase EVERY where for a very cheap price! Please email Dr Phil show and tell your story. Maybe if they get ALOT on this issue they will do a show. He has the power to draw ALOT of attention to this! I'm sorry for your loss I know how devastating it is! If you need anything from me please let me know! My daughter has pictures on her phone of herself after a binge they're not pretty! I also have autopsy she passed from difluoroethane toxicity. She had no other drugs or alcohol in her system. I just don't understand why the company can continue to sell this? Again anything I can do please let me know! Thank you!
Anyonehere

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #6 
I am so grateful to see this post. I have been addicted to duster for 3 years now and I'm terrified that every night could be my last and my family will have to come over and find my body here surrounded by cans. I try to quit everyday.. but i can't. I'm depressed and alone. I wish i had never tried this stuff- my life would be so different now. But, it gives me a glimmer of hope to hear that some people are able to fight through and break their addiction before losing their life to it. I'm curious - how long did you use? And did you have any medical issues from it? Breathing issues? Elevated liver function? Hearing loss? Nervous system damage? Brain damage? I'm scared that i have suffered irreparable damage already.
bethalex4

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Anyonehere - I'm so glad you reached out!! Do you live alone? I can only imagine how that would make stopping SO much harder. To answer your question, I used duster off and on for several years but once I started using it daily the downward spiral came quickly. That lasted about a solid 5 months. It was pure living hell before I went to rehab. Miraculously I have no permanent damage to any organs or anything - that I know of. I have been to the doctor and had blood work done recently so I would think that something would have shown up....

Even if you have some type of damage ... its not too late to stop the progress of this disease!!! There's help and hope! Where are you from??
Anyonehere

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks so much for replying to me.. i do live alone and I'm in Virginia. I know that if i had someone around me, I'd be able to quit since i wouldn't be able to do it around them, but i can't have my family find out. I'm 35, so i don't have anyone to be responsible for and I'm able to be alone for days. I'm now in the habit of using every night and i can't sleep (or pass out really) without it. Was the outpatient treatment helpful? I can't go to an inpatient treatment center because i work. But, I'm desperate to quit and i feel like I'm counting my days.
bethalex4

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #9 
Anyonehere, I did find the outpatient treatment to be helpful and informative although for me personally I would still use during that time period. I ended up going to inpatient after losing my job due to my first duster/passed out in Wal-Mart parking lot arrest. From that point on is when things truly began on the journey to improving. Still just the start of a loooong road tho... A lot of (most!) addicts have co-morbid mental health problems. Maybe you could start by seeing your primary care doctor for a physical and discuss any symptoms of depression or anxiety you may be experiencing? I recommend being fully upfront about your duster use .... I know it's hard and scary but remember, the doctor won't tell anyone, they legally aren't allowed! Plus they may be able to recommend a mental health therapist and rehab center...

Please feel free to email me... I would love to talk to you anytime you need ideas or just an understanding ear...
ceci0729

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Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #10 
Anyonehere- Hi, I’m glad you found this thread. I read what you just posted. Don’t say you can’t stop, that’s not true. It’s only true if you believe it. There is hope, for example the gal that shared her story on this thread.
And the idea of having someone with you so you don’t use, that only works temporarily, even if you did inpatient. Go deeper, ask yourself if you are truly ready to let go of the escape, the exiting your reality with the high of the duster.
Let me tell you something, if you really want something in life, it’s yours. But if you sort of want to quit, you sort of will keep using. You have the courage, strength, and wisdom inside of you to beat this addiction. It’s not more powerful than you. But you have to do the work. And yes, it’s easier to get high.
But as I have said to many that I have crossed paths with that use this can, it’s not a question of if you will die young, it’s a matter of when. I told my boyfriend of 16 years, “if you don’t quit now, this will kill you, i feel it in my heart”, he died one week later. He used for 6 years that I know of, and in those 6 years up until his death he slowly destroyed what was once a very beautiful and fruitful life that any person would have loved to live. He left a 2 year old without her father, and he was loved by many.
Now you, do you truly want to quit ? Think about what you are trying to escape and why? Get yourself all the help you can, and be as real as you can. Spill all your pains and fears and everything. The help is out there. Turns out that even though your high of choice is the can, the addictive behavior is no difrom difbehaviors are very albrings to you, it’s a relationship you have with it, believe it or not. Are you ready to break up?
I’m here if you want to vent or need to email or talk. I’m a trained doctor of psychology and truly understand that journey you are on professionally and personally.
Remember what I said, if you truly want it, go after your sobriety and hold on to your life with every inch of energy and commitment you have. You can do it, I know this.
Clsudua

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Anyonehere

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #11 
To bethalex & ceci... i awoke from my 8 can stuppor to find your emails and i can't thank you both enough. I'm literally crying as i write this because you both have extended such love to me and its a little overwhelming. (Alot overwhelming actually) i do want to quit. I'm just so sad. and its so hard being alone and trying to stop. I have been up front with my doctor and went to him a year ago to try to get help, but he didn't know what to do with me. He acted like he had never heard of people huffing duster and asked me how it's done. I did persist in having some medical tests done because I'm very concerned about long term damage (which is ironic since i could die any night and there would be no long term to worry about..lol). But, i had an ekg which was ok. My lung capacity test failed. My liver functions are elevated. Critically low vit d & iron .. and I'm anemic. That's everything - short of having a brain scan. My doctor recommended an outpatient treatment center and i am going to call them. To be honest, although i feel like I'm dying.. the headaches, throat pain, hearing loss, shortness of breath, etc - part of my brain still doesn't believe it could happen to me. I feel awful thinking this, but when i read about other people passing away, i think - there must have been something else going on too... I've been doing this so long now - it just doesn't seem real that one day could just be the last. I need to quit. I want to quit and i would be so grateful to both of you for your help. Even having you both offer to write me is so giving of you - it's the most love I've felt in a long time. I don't know how to email you directly on here without replying in the forum- so if either of you do, please let me know. And thank you both so much.
ceci0729

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Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #12 
Anyonehere, Hi:
I’m thankful beyond what my words can describe that you were able to read the messages that were written just for you. Of course there are people that care, you can trust that. Depression may tell u otherwise, but it’s not true.
My email is ccs.psyd@gmail.com. Email anytime. Whatever support you need, within my capacity, I will help. I promised myself to not stop caring or helping when Rene died. It’s from my heart. Sending you love and a big hug filled with faith in you. You can put the can down and help is out there, just knock on every door you can. And if you are willing, talk to God, any way you like, and ask for help, you will receive it. Praying for you...
Claudia

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Cc
bethalex4

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #13 
Anyonehere - I just sent you an email using your profile page, please let me know if you received it. :-) My email address is bethalex4@gmail.com ...

Beth
Anonnona

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #14 
I am so so so SO proud of you! Thank you so much for your openness and sharing. Finding this site and all of us who share our stories was one of the things that has kept me pushing on! I hit my year mark today!
Partnerisanaddict

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #15 
Bethalex4 so wonderful to hear your story. Your babies need you. Love them and yourself, never go back
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