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December 25, 2006 at 12:25 am #1534
A Story from a police officer and a father:
First, I’m going to tell you a little about me and my family. My name
is Jeff. I am a Police Officer for a city which is known nationwide for
its crime rate. We have a lot of gangs and drugs. At one point we were
# 2 in the nation in homicides per capita. I also have a police K-9
named Thor. He was certified in drugs and general duty. He retired at 3
years old because he was shot in the line of duty. He lives with us now
and I still train with him because he likes it. I always liked the fact
that there was no way to bring drugs into my house. Thor wouldn’t allow it. He would tell on you.
The reason I say this is so you understand that I know about drugs.
I have taught in schools about drugs. My wife asks all our kids at
least once a week if they used any drugs. Makes them promise they won’t.
I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one
in February 2005. I also was working on some of my older computers.
They were full of dust so on one of my trips to the computer store I
bought a 3 pack of DUST OFF. Dust Off is a can of compressed air to
blow dust off a computer. A few weeks later when I went to use one of
them, they were all used up. I talked to my kids and my two sons both said
they had used them on their computer and messing around with them. I
yelled at them for wasting the $10 I paid for them. On February 28 I
went back to the computer store. They didn’t have the 3 pack which I
had bought on sale so I bought a single jumbo can of Dust Off. I went
home and set it down beside my computer.
On March 1st, I left for work at 10 PM. Just before midnight my wife
went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 5:30 am the next morning Kathy
went downstairs to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work.
He was propped up in bed with his legs crossed and his head leaning
over. She called to him a few times to get up. He didn’t move. He would
sometimes tease her like this and pretend he fell back asleep. He was
never easy to get up. She went in and shook his arm. He fell over. He
was pale white and had the straw from the Dust Off can coming out of
his mouth. He had the new can of Dust Off in his hands. Kyle was dead.
I am a police officer and I had never heard of this. My wife is a nurse
and she had never heard of this. We later found out from the coroner,
after the autopsy, that only the propellant from the can of Dust off
was in his system.. No other drugs. Kyle had died between midnight and 1 AM.
I found out that using Dust Off is being done mostly by kids ages 9
through 15. They even have a name for it. It’s called dusting. A take
off from the Dust Off name. It gives them a slight high for about 10
seconds. It makes them dizzy. A boy who lives down the street from us
showed Kyle how to do this about a month before. Kyle showed his best
friend. Told him it was cool and it couldn’t hurt you. It’s just
compressed air. It can’t hurt you. His best friend said no.
Kyle was wrong. It’s not just compressed air. It also contains a
propellant called R2. It’s a refrigerant like what is used in your
refrigerator. It is a heavy gas. Heavier than air. When you inhale it,
it fills your lungs and keeps the good air, with oxygen, out That’s why
you feel dizzy, buzzed. It decreases the oxygen to your brain, to your
heart. Kyle was right. It can’t hurt you. IT KILLS YOU.
The horrible part about this is there is no warning. There is no level
that kills you. It’s not cumulative or an overdose; it can just go
randomly, terribly wrong. Roll the dice and if your number comes up you
die. ITS NOT AN OVERDOSE. It’s Russian Roulette. You don’t die later.
Or not feel good and say I’ve had too much. You usually die as you’re
breathing it in. If not you die within 2 seconds of finishing “the
hit.” That’s why the straw was still in Kyle’s mouth when he died. Why
his eyes were still open. The experts want to call this huffing. The
kids don’t believe its huffing. As adults we tend to lump many things
together. But it doesn’t fit here. And that’s why its more accepted.
There is no chemical reaction, no strong odor. It doesn’t follow the
huffing signals. Kyle complained a few days before he died of his
tongue hurting. It probably did. The propellant causes frostbite. If I had only known.
It’s easy to say “hey, it’s my life and I’ll do what I want” . But it isn’t.
Others are always affected. This has forever changed our family’s life.
I have a hole in my heart and soul that can never be fixed. The pain is
so immense I can’t describe it. There’s nowhere to run from it. I cry
all the time and I don’t ever cry. I do what I’m supposed to do but I
don’t really care. My kids are messed up. One won’t talk about it. The
other will only sleep in our room at night. And my wife, I can’t even
describe how bad she is taking this. I thought we were safe because of
Thor. I thought we were safe because we knew about drugs and talked to our kids about them.
After Kyle died another story came out. A probation Officer went to the
school system next to ours to speak with a student. While there he
found a student using Dust Off in the bathroom. This student told him
about another student who also had some in his locker. This is a rather
affluent school system. They will tell you they don’t have a drug
problem there. They don’t even have a Dare or plus program there. So
rather than tell everyone about this “new” way of getting high they found, they hid it.
The probation officer told the media after Kyle’s death and they, the
school, then admitted to it. I know that if they would have told the
media and I had heard, it wouldn’t have been in my house.
We need to get this out of our homes and school computer labs. Using
Dust Off isn’t new and some “professionals” do know about. It just
isn’t talked about much, except by the kids. They all seem to know
about it. April 2nd was 1 month since Kyle died. April 5th would have
been his 15th birthday. And every weekday I catch myself sitting on the
living room couch at 2:30 in the afternoon and waiting to see him get
off the bus. I know Kyle is in heaven but I cant help but wonder If I died and went to Hell.
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