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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 

I'm writing this in the hope that those who would try dust-off will read this and think twice. And those who are suffering from the addiction know they are not alone.

Regardless of what you hear, huffing dust-off IS addictive, and it will ruin your life. It nearly ruined mine. I was addicted to it for over a year. I'll be honest, I knew the dangers before I tried it. I was severely depressed and suicidal at the time. When I first started buying dust-off, it was actually to self mutilate. I used the frozen can as a way to freeze/burn myself. Then I started inhaling it.

The inhaling began as a way to get a high, and to escape my life even if only for a few moments. The first time I inhaled (out of curiosity), I almost blacked out. It scared me. I thought, as my vision became dark and I felt my body trying to fall backward, God please don't let me die and I will never touch it again. I wish I'd kept that promise. I will forever regret not keeping it, because even as someone who has stopped using, I still make mistakes and I still get the urge to buy a can when I am out at the store.

I will NEVER be truly safe from my addiction. It is a lifelong problem now, and one I must face every time I shop for food, laundry detergent, clothes, or any other necessity of life.

Not long after I began experimenting with dust-off my depression became more severe. Having decided I didn't care if I died (and thinking I wouldn't, as I'd done it a dozen or so times), I started using a can every night. It was a sort of ritual at first. I took small huffs in the beginning. I had this ridiculous idea, after having read how long one should huff before it takes effect, that if I cut that time in half it was a safe "dosage." I counted as I inhaled. Then, high, I would listen to music and write.

During this time, one can of dust off would last me about 4 or 5 hours before it was gone.

I can't tell you exactly when the addiction happened, but it was not long before the actual craving for more began. The craving is immediate. It comes the second you come down from the high and realize your can is empty, and is so strong you feel as if you cannot go on until you huff again. The only word I can think to describe it is crazed. You will shake the can you just finished, pumping the nozzle over and over. You will desperately seek out every old used can and try those for one last puff as well. Even when you have already tried them several times before.

Even with my huffing only a little at a time, it did not take long before the black outs began. And the longer I continued to huff, the more often they occurred. Within 3 months I was completely used to blacking out, it did not phase me. Within 4 months, I did not go a night without blacking out at least once.

The number of cans I used each night went up as well, and began going up more and more rapidly. By 4 months I was trying, and not always succeeding, to limit myself to 2-3 cans a night. Double or triple that number on the weekends when I did not have to work. The cans themselves were lasting only 2 hours each, on average, at this point as well.

I had at this time began urinating and vomiting on myself on occasion. For someone who does not know what this is like, let me describe it in detail. It is not pretty.

I do not remember urinating, ever. It was upon waking up from a blackout I would find I had peed myself. Did I immediately go clean myself up? No. I grabbed the can to see if there was any left. I went though all the old cans. Until I knew there was no hope of more dust-off, my soiled clothes were not my priority. And if there was more in the can, I inhaled it until I passed out again, still in soiled clothes. The vomiting I was conscious of about half the time. But again, dealing with it was not priority unless the hope of more dust-off was gone. Even with nausea so strong I knew to huff would make me vomit again, I did it anyway.

I was deluding myself with lies at this point, in order to not face the fact I had an addiction. I told myself I only huffed so that I could bear the pain of self mutilation. Truth: I rarely if ever intentionally harmed myself anymore. I simply ended up hurting myself by passing out with the can still in my hands or on some other part of my skin. It got so that the 1st and 2nd degree burns to the palms of my hands were never ending.

I told myself it was helping me to be creative as well, as I wrote a lot, something I'd always done for my depression. Truth: As the addiction became worse, I wrote less and less. Not only could I no longer write sober, I was rarely writing while high. Even when not passed out, I was not really conscious of my actions. Once the blackouts began happening.. I couldn't tell you then or now what I did between the moment I started inhaling and the moment I passed out. A lot of time must have elapsed though, as it takes a long time to empty an entire can during one session of dusting and passing out. Which I began to do often.

Within 6 months or less I had financially destroyed myself paying for dust-off cans (I used anywhere from 3-8 cans a day, on a work day). I was late on every bill, and was constantly having some utility shut off, or receiving another eviction notice. I began taking out pay day loans. Even without the addiction I wouldn't have been able to pay them back, and with the addiction it was hopeless, and I knew it. I just no longer cared. Nothing mattered but my next can of dust-off.

Several times I wiped out the supply of duster at every local store within driving distance. The wal-mart, meijer, the grocery store, the small drug stores. I had to start driving to other towns. As the money ran out completely, I started stealing the cans. Ashamed as I was, the addiction was stronger than my shame. I got so bad I was stealing several times a day. Sometimes more than once at the same place, other times I would go store to store. How I did not get caught during this time is beyond me.

How I did not die is beyond me.

My apartment and my hygiene at this point were deplorable. My place was condemnable, and I'd let it get so bad I was too ashamed to get help. I wore the same clothes I don't know how many times before I'd wash them. Just taking a shower took away from my huffing time, and even if I managed to get that time in, I spent it instead lying in bed depressed and wishing I had duster.

Needless to say all these things began to effect my work/job. I was constantly late or missing work, because I'd passed out after huffing and woke up late. Or I'd spent the night huffing and had nothing to wear, as I'd not done the laundry. I'd literally peed in or vomited on every pair of pants. That's how bad it was.

Then I did the unthinkable. I saw a can of dustoff at work, and I took it to the bathroom with me. I got caught, and written up. I didn't lose my job that time.. but when I was caught again, this time outside huffing in my car on lunch break, they fired me.

I don't want to go into my personal life details too much. So let me go back to the 6-8 month period. My mom and her husband intervened. I had not yet lost my job. They had no idea I was huffing. They only knew that my apartment was a disaster, that I was depressed and covered in self-inflicted burns, and a financial wreck. When they helped me clean my place up and move out, to the town they lived in, I honestly thought the new beginning and fresh start was all I needed to help me get over my dustoff addiction.

But I was lying to myself, just as I was them, thinking the addiction had nothing to do with it. Thinking my life was the problem, and if I fixed that the addiction would have no cause to show itself. In my mind, I was only huffing because I was depressed and trapped in the mess I'd made.

Getting caught at work woke my family up to the fact that I was an addict. My mom worked for the same company, and word spread quickly. She pleaded with me to get help. She'd already helped me pay off debts and get into a new place, now she pleaded for me to get into a rehab. I refused. I broke down and cried with her and promised to do better, I asked her to check on me to make sure I was all right, I said I couldn't do rehab because I'd lose my job... I said all sorts of things. I was an adult though. There was nothing she could do.

The addiction did not end. It did not take long before a plethera of duster cans could be found under the bed, or in the closet, of the new place. I was on anti-depressants and anxiety medication, I was seeing a therapist.. but I was struggling with the cans and denying it to anyone who took the time to listen.

My mom and her husband caught me in the act of dusting at my place (they could hear me huffing through the door). It was only a matter of time. They called the police, who could not do anything as I would not admit to it, and they did not see it. I'll just say there was a big fight after this, and I stopped speaking to the few people who were doing all they could to help me. I managed to isolate myself from everyone. This was not long before christmas of that year.

A week or two before christmas, I went into a wal-mart with my most recent check and bought 20 cans of dustoff. My intention was to sit in my van outside of the building and huff until it literally killed me. Someone saw me passed out before that happened though, and called the police. I sat in the back of the cruiser with clothes still soaked in urine, as they drove me off to spend my first night in jail. I wish the judge had seen through my lies when I faced him the next day, and forced me into a rehab before allowing me to go back home.

Mid-January I lost my job after they found me outside huffing. I did not stop huffing as I looked for a new one. My addiction was literally out of control. I went town to town stealing cans and depleting the stock as I went. I got caught, finally, after months of stealing. I wish they had called the police. They only banned me from the store.

Still without a job, I continued to huff. As I said, passing out became more frequent, and it was while passed out I got injuries. One night, on a huffing binge, it got out of control. The first time I woke up it felt like my ankle was on fire. When I pulled the can off of it, the skin peeled away along with it. It was the worst burn I'd ever received from the duster cans, and the pain was unbearable. So of course, I huffed, to take the pain away. I passed out a second time. But this time when I woke up, it was my face on fire. I ran to the mirror, screaming in pain.

My face was swollen almost completely on the right side. I wasn't sure if I'd harmed my eye at that point, because it was too swelled shut. Within a half hour, the swelling had turned into huge blisters. On my forehead, on my cheek, on my eyelid. I cannot describe the pain. You can imagine, after I'd done my best to wrap my face up, what I did next. I huffed more.

I tried to care for the wounds myself. Luckily family found out, and my mom asked my friends to help. One of them in the medical field, with some psychiatric knowledge, knew the limits of what they could do. So she did what she could to help me. She called the police, and told them I was threatening to kill myself. Because of this, I could not refuse the ambulance for the burns. They gave me a choice. It was either go to the hospital for the burns, or go to get evaluated for mental health and be under watch for 24 hours.

I still have scars from that incident on my face. They are light brown and easily covered, but they're on my face and will be there forever. I wish I could say it woke me up, but in the end I kept huffing. Then I lost my van. After it broke down, I had the guy helping me drive me over to wal-mart. I huffed in the bathroom stall. Police came, and I lied my way out of things again. I still had burns all over me. I told them I wasn't huffing, I was self-mutilating. Off to the hospital again where I was evaluated, and sent home, with the dust-off cans I'd bought that night.

After that though, without a car to get me to a decent store, I had no choice but to stop. The one place the bus went, in that very small town, was to the wal-mart where I'd huffed and been taken away. I had no money, and couldn't steal from them after people knew my face. I gave up huffing.. because I had no choice.

Life spiraled out of control at that point, even without the duster. I'd dug the hole pretty deep, and was about to be without a home. God is good though. I met my husband online. We'd been friends for a couple of years, and had been dating for a while at that point. He sent me the money to drive myself and my pets to be with him. He is amazing, supportive, and so willing to help me after knowing what my addiction has been like for me.

I wish I could say I never tried the duster again. But I did it two more times. First driving to him. One last time I said, as I sat in a rest area and huffed myself to sleep. I believed that too, one last time. Especially after I'd felt so guilty after waking up, and not craving another can.

Then, after being here for a while, after marrying the man I love, after having everything right in my life and being the happiest woman in the world... one day I was at the drug store, and my husband was away for the night. I saw the can. I forgot what I'd come to the store for, grabbed and bought the duster, and took it home to huff. Wouldn't you know.. I burnt my face again. Not bad. Just a spot. But another reminder when I look in the mirror.

I'm not using again, but now I know the struggle is not over. Probably it will never be over, at least not so long as one can find this drug at every corner. I am sorry if it puts the duster business out of business.. but I hope someday soon they ban the stuff. Making it an 18 and older product is not good enough. I was an adult when I started. Plus, as I have shown, it can be stolen quite easily.

Parents, if you're reading this, don't keep it in your house. Period. Use a cloth, use a q-tip, use a wet wiper but not duster. It's like keeping a ready to go needle of heroin in the house.. it's too tempting to a child, and far too dangerous.

And if you're a fellow addict of huffing.. don't give up. Put yourself somewhere where you can't get access, for an extended period of time. Even if it means a rehab center. You can't lose anything that you're not already giving up with the addiction by doing it. Whether it's rehab, or living with someone who will literally watch you like a hawk while you go to therapy... the recovery can't begin until you stop lying to yourself, and believing you can do it on your own. It's not an admission of weakness, it's the reality of being addicted to a drug you can find at every store.


Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #2 
Great, insightful post for those who need to see how duster can impact one's life.  A lot of this is exactly what I've gone through... 

1. Waking up with urine soaked bed and clothes -- Like you, I didn't care until I knew the rest of the duster for that session was gone. In addition to all the money I've wasted on duster, I've had to buy extra laundry detergent and febreeze & enzyme cleaners to get the odor of urine out of my mattress and carpets. Even if I put my duster supply by the toilet with the intention of going pee every time I needed a new can, I would eventually get so high that I would just grab the can and go back to my bed anyway. 

2. Burns -- These cans literally FREEZE after using and shaking them and passing out with them touching your skin is devastating. I've had majorly bad second degree burns /blisters on my arms, stomach & chest and my fingers from repeated duster use. It's the worst when they're in spots that you can't cover up and other people can see.  "Coffee burns" I would say... And they take FOREVER to heal and a lot of times will never fully heal.  Also when I had a red rash around my mouth and nose area... would blame that on chapped lips and the wind from running outside.  I can't keep letting this happen.

3. Employment -- It becomes such an addiction that it will affect your professional life.  I huffed on my lunch in my car at work and passed out for 2 hours.  I was nearly fired for job abandonment. There was also issues with me leaving early because my mind only cared about getting home and abusing duster.  I'm very lucky I haven't been fired yet.

I haven't used since Sunday and I am going to sincerely try my best not to do it again. When you write down your experiences and read back, it's a wonder why we even (continue to) do this stuff. I'm starting to feel as low as a meth or heroin addict because it can destroy lives (literally) just as bad as those drugs can. It's going to take all of my strength not to go out and get some on Friday or Saturday after I get paid. The funny thing is I feel so much better after a couple of days of being off Duster but still eventually get and give into the urges by day 4 or 5.

I can't afford rehab or to miss work by going to rehab. Rehab is only temporary anyway, duster will ALWAYS be on the shelves at Walmart, CVS & Office Depot. It's going to take sheer willpower and discipline to do this. I started going to the gym again and I hope that will keep me on the straight and narrow. I became too weak from spending too many hours laying in a bed and spazzing out and it's time to restrengthen and rebuild. I want this to stop so bad. I want control of my life back. I could easily be unemployed and shunned by my family for my experience with this poison. I could have died from choking on my own vomit or a heart attack or stopped breathing while using this poison. I never want to have my parents have to break into my home to find me dead with a can of duster in my hand and 6 more cans on the floor. They deserve better... I deserve better.

Thanks for sharing your experience and showing me that I'm not the only one that has had these issues with the burns and urinating and the desperation of sifting through empty cans for more huffs like a fiend. I hope I have the strength to finally put this behind me like you did. 


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
My 34 year old husband had a lung injury & fatal heart arrhythmia from inhaling duster.  He collapsed and died in front of me 3 months ago.  He had a drinking problem and he was looking for something to replace it or to help with hangovers. He said his mind & heart were always racing & he just had to do something to make him feel normal.  I'm not sure he even realized he was addicted to it.  He would promise over & over he would never do it again each time I would find an empty can.  I found out the morning before he died that he went to office depot...I found it on our bank statement and went to the store to have them pull the receipt.  I truly believe this is what made my husband violently ill that day and caused his death.  I'm still waiting to get the final report from autopsy.  It's just so sad that he or anyone would turn to something like this.  Maybe in your head you think "oh it's just canned big deal".  Well it's poison and it will take your life.  It took my husbands life.  Now I'm left with intense pain & grief.  We were just getting started in life and now I'm starting over as a widow at the age of 32.  I hope and pray that each of you will reach out and find the help & support you need for your addictions &/or mental issues that have led you to this dark place.

Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #4 
I wish you so so so much luck blueuni. I hope you were able to stay off of it. I hope everyone who is recovering from this can beat it.

It has been a constant struggle myself. That last part you wrote, about it being a certain time of day and getting the urge, reminds me of something. It used to be (where I used to live) that certain stretches of road and the highway literally made me sick to my stomach. They were my can buying routes. I know it was a mental thing, but it physically made me sick to go down those roads, knowing the reason why. I thought that would change, as I've since moved to another state. My husband and I recently visited though, it had been 7 or 8 months since I'd been there, and sure enough.. when we got to one of my frequented highway spots, I felt nausea. Even though I've been clean for months.

Even after I've been off it for a long time, mentally I am still shook up by it. I still, CONSTANTLY, have to fight the urge not to buy cans and bring them home when I know my husband isn't here. When I wrote previously that it is a life-long battle I meant it.

To sparks.. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could say something that makes it better, or helps you to understand why he lied and continued to use, but there is no such words. As with any addiction.. everything else in life takes a back seat to the drug. I'm glad you are speaking out here about it though, and I hope more people realize that not only does this thing ruin your life, but it kills too.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #5 
The addict or having a certain vices always have beside family, not knowing simple things but sympathy and sharing are needed 

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #6 
Smoking is not  good for the heath of smokers themselves and the people around you are best  not to  smoke,Sometimes peoples smoking habits,.... they  should quit smoking.Now there are many wait to quit smoking, for example: quit smoking,  quit smoking seft,.... 

Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #7 
ty so much for your posts, I wish probation officers, parole officers, judges and so many in authority could read our laments. For 8 months I have struggled with my anger at the folks who have gotten rich knowing what their product does. I noticed yesterday that walmart and Costco both have at least quadrupled their shelf space for this poison. On an endcap at walmart. I have tried to focus on starting over without my son Justin. I've decided anger could devour what's left of my life, though I might join with others sometime to stop this. Your posts helped me see his side better. I think I probably wouldn't hear him when he tried to tell me about it. I made many mistakes and was frankly overwhelmed for 2 years. Hope, relapse, despair, hope, relapse, etc. And fear, lots of fear. I do go on knowing that no sellers of poison can imprison my son now.Well God bless all who are in the struggle, it's deadly serious, the spark of life is precious, holy, connect with someone today, richie

Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #8 
I found out the morning before he died that he went to office depot...I found it on our bank statement and went to the store to have them pull the receipt.  I truly believe this is what made my husband violently ill that day and caused his death.  I'm still waiting to get the final report from autopsy.  
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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
@Aeldra - Its interesting you mention home depot. I went there one time, when all my other sources of duster were out of stock. The main ingredient was slightly different than in the other cans I bought. Usually the active drug was diflourithane (not sure of the spelling). The can from home depot had a different one though, and when I inhaled the first time I knew something was very off. The feeling it gave was different, and I almost passed out with a very very short inhale.

I actually ended up looking it up, and at least from what I could read it was a concentrated version of the same thing in other cans. It's the only time I actually called my mom to come take the can from me, because I was afraid I would go into one of my moods where I simply didn't care if I died huffing (and had a strong suspicion this one would kill me).

So it makes me wonder if perhaps your husband bought that same type of can.

Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #10 
My son died after 3 months of using dust off.  God bless you for being able to get through this.  Let this be a lesson to ANYONE considering this.  He was addicted almost immediately and it killed him.
JoAnn Brozowski

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #11 
Do u have a Facebook? My mother died using dust off and I would just like to know more, maybe u can help me understand. Please respond thank you

Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #12 
I am so very sorry for your loss.  I don't know how much I can help you.  My son began to use dust off about 3 months before he died.  He had started drinking heavily and was getting pressure from his friends and girlfriend to cut back.  My assumption is that he was looking for a substitute for alcohol and figured this was legal and cheap.  He was hooked almost immediately.  As soon as we found out we put him in out patient treatment and wouldn't let him go in a car without family or friends driving him.  But I think the addiction was too strong.  He would find ways to get it and use it anyway.  I knew nothing about addiction before this happened.  He had never used other drugs before this.  I found a therapist who is a specialist in addiction.  it took a long time before I understood what addition really was, understood that he was really suffering from addiction.  It has been a long hard road to understanding what happened and why.  The sad thing is that dust off is easy to get, legal and cheap.  But it also is deadly.  More so than heroin, crack, etc.  It can kill the first time.  My son never understood that.  I will pray for you and your family.  Let me know what your story is.
JoAnn Brozowski

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #13 
My daughter died 6/9/2013.  She was 29 years old and had been addicted to inhalants for about 11 months.  She went to 4 rehabs and still died of an overdose.  She was able to stop drinking, stop marijuana, stop meth, but she could not stop using the air duster.  Before it destroyed her life (figuratively and literally) she was a mother and a middle school teacher.  She was also depressed and just wanted to "check out", as you described.  Inhalants do not show up on drug screens so for that reason are even more dangerous.  Inhalants do not get the press that heroin does, but are just as deadly.

For those others who have lost someone to inhalant abuse, you have my deepest sympathy.  For those that have suffered from addiction, keep up the fight against it and live.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #14 
I found this messege board on the suggestion of a friend and I need to write something before I let this opportunity go.. Just a simple staement: I have been struggling with duster addiction for five years. I have been cross addicted on almost every hsrd drug there is; alcihiol, cocaine, pain killers and have experienced self destructive use of heroine, meth and crack . What I am most afraid of is duster. I have not done duster in over ten months.
I am so sorry for your trajic losses. I get it. The duster high and massive addiction potential.
I have received three dui's, lost my job, my marriage and my friends and loved ones.
I write here to offer help. Please let me know how my experience may aid or clarify you. I will answer all questions honestly. One note: your loved ones didnt choose duster over you.


Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #15 
I am so sorry to each & every one of you for either your struggles & sorrow!  Thank you for your posts.  My boyfriend or I guess you can say ex-boyfriend now has been on a 4 month dust-off binge, & it has been completely awful & painful to watch.  He had almost 5 years of sobriety from alcohol & about 4 months ago decided to turn to dust-off.  He also suffers from depression.  It is mind blowing to me that someone can wake up one day & just decide to throw away their life for poison!  He is in his late thirties; we have a nice home, a sweet 5 year old boy, supportive families & established careers.  When the binge started I immediately kicked him out of the home as the safety & stability of my son is the priority!  Since this binge has started he has been arrested about 15 times, the fines from these arrests are insane!  Usually from dusting in his car & passing out until somebody calls police.  Anything from public intoxication to retail theft.  He has spent a night in jail only to get out to hit another drug or office store within minutes.  Along with these arrests there has been about 15 hospital stays, a one week stint in a mental health facility & 2 weeks in inpatient rehab. His name has been all over the papers which is terribly embarrassing! He was successfully released from rehab 4 days ago.  While there he seemed very focused on his recovery and digging out of this hole he has dug... he said all the right things & according to his counselors was very focused & put in a great deal of work.  I decided to give him one last chance to put our family back together.  I picked him up from rehab & we spent a happy, healthy morning together as a family, I had hope for the first time in 4 months!  It was about 5 hours after his release from rehab that he was in an office depot parking lot dusting again.  He's been arrested several times since.  He is now living at a scum bag motel in a very bad part of town.  He spends $100 plus a day on the poison & is currently maxing out credit cards to support this devastating addiction.  As many of you have said he often urinates, vomits, & defecates on himself!  He stays in the same clothes for a week if he wants to.  He has given himself severe burns to his hands & face.  We are all suffering immensely from his addiction.  This worst was trying to explain to my son why daddy cannot be in our lives right now.  I let him know that daddy is making poor decisions for himself & our family.  No mother should ever have to feel that pain.  When he is on these binges nothing else matters, he will not even answer the phone for my son who just wants his daddy, it is heart wrenching!  He has lost everything, & is maxing out his last credit card as we speak.  It will only be a matter of time before some of his possessions are repossessed.  He has lost a family, a job, & a life that most would be proud to have!  The pain runs so deep.  Although I know that we cannot be together I love him dearly & see him more than this dust off monster he has turned into.  I can only pray that he has a moment of clarity, goes to jail, or runs out of money before death.  I cannot fathom the thought of explaining to my son that he will never see daddy again.  Thank you all for listening & allowing me to vent! 
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