Cop Talk Live!

December 6, 2006 | Karin's Blog | 13 comments

What is dusting?

Dusting is a rapidly growing way of getting a “buzz” amongst kids ages 9-15. The product is actually called “Dust Off” and you might have a can of it in your home right now. Dust Off is a can of compressed air used to blow the dust off of computers. Sounds innocent enough, right?

Wrong, dead wrong. Along with the compressed air, Dust Off also contains a propellant called R2. R2 is a refrigerant like what is used in your refrigerator. It is a heavy gas. Heavier than air. When inhaled, 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 and to your heart. The “high” usually only last about 10 seconds.

Kids think this is safe and okay as it contains no drugs. Unfortunately, they’re wrong, dead wrong in some cases. 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.”

It can be ingested into the system by spraying it into a baggie then inhaling it out of the baggie (huffing). It is quite commonly sprayed through the narrow straw sold with the product, directly into the mouth or nose. About the only sign you may have other than the can in your child’s room is their complaint of their tongue or nose hurting. This is caused by the propellant causing frostbite.

Kids think this to be very innocent and do not perceive it as dangerous. Please check your child’s room and do not allow them to use this product unsupervised.

Wow, OF, you just scared me. Checking kid’s rooms asap.


  1. Karin

    OF, thank you for the warning. Not being a parent who has difficulty tossing my kid’s room, I think parent’s need to take a more active roll in knowing just what the hell their kids are up to, and stop worrying about being their buddy and worry more about being a diligent parent. How many lives could be saved if parents just stepped into thier kid’s bedroom?

  2. Amanda

    My kids know their room is in MY house, therefore they better be prepared to have it searched at any time.

  3. Karin

    Here, here, Amanda. Hey do remember that kid down in San Jose a few years ago who had a veritable arsenal in his room complete with bombs? The way the cops discovered it was because dumbass took pictures and the clerk at Long’s called the cops when she saw the cache on film. When they asked the mom how come she didn’t know about it she said, “I respect his privacy. I haven’t been in my son’s room for years.”

    Hell, repecting his privacy almost got a bunch of studens blown up!

  4. Poppy

    Depends on the kid and the parent. My mother was so invasive that I rented my first post box at 12. I don’t have teenagers, but I couldn’t see violating their trust unless I had a specific reason to believe they were in trouble and couldn’t handle it themselves.

  5. Officer Friendly

    While it is just my opinion, many children do not show any signs of being in trouble when they actually are in trouble. Like wise, many parents are totally unaware of their childrens goings on and often are caught by surprise. I can’t count the number of times I’ve returned kids home at 3 in the morning when their parents would have sworn the kid was in bed. Or the spray paint found in a backpack for graffiti that a parent never checked. Parents have a right to be invasive, nosie and intrusive. It’s how parents stay tuned into what their kids are doing and what their children are hiding. Trust me to search your room and question your choice of friends and your comings and goings. Now there is nothing for me to violate.

  6. Kalen Hughes

    If my parents had ever tossed my room that would have pretty much ended our relationship. Not because they would have found anything, but because it would have demonstrated a supreme lack of trust on their part. Personally, I think it’s way more important to have an open relationship with your kids so that you DO know what’s going on with them, but I guess growing up in hippie-commune land made my life and relationship with my folks a bit different than those of the kids who are huffing keyboard cleaner . . .

  7. Lee

    This is great info…I’ve heard of it, but it seems to be picking up speed. When my kids were living at home, I use to remind them, they’re subject to search and seizure. Kids do not have the right to privacy as long as they live under a parents roof. Its how we keep them safe, even if they don’t agree. For example, there was a young man in San Jose who kept a arsenal of weapons in his room. He planned a Columbine type shooting (their parents didn’t search their rooms either) at De Anza College. When he was captured, (due to photos he had developed at a local Longs), his parent claimed he had the right to privacy. His mother never went in his room, not even to clean. He eventually commited suicide in jail, when convicted and sentenced to 80 years in prison. The parents could have saved him long before it got that far. If only they searched his room. Go in a kids room, clean, search whatever it takes. And don’t tell them your going to do it. Tear it apart. Look under the mattress, through stuff in the closet, drawers, everything, books..When you go in, think,”if I was a kid, where would I hide-And if they have their own bathroom, look in the tank, and up and under the sink. When they come home tell them you searched their room. Let them know your watching, but don’t give a hint when it might happen again. My kids hated living with two cops, for this reason, but it kept them on the straight and very narrow. We use to send friends on patrol to stop them and search their cars.

  8. Karin

    Ah, Poppy and Kalen, two who don’t yet have the pleasure of motherhood. Just wait.

    I’m not ashamed to say it. I DO NOT TRUST MY CHILDREN! And they are good kids, but they are kids, (well 3 are technically adults and do not fall under the room tossing radar anymore, which is good coz two don’tlive at home. How awkward would that be?), but I’ve seen good kids with great parents do some awful things. Every parent does things different. With all the crap going on around kids today, it’s just smart business in my opinion to know what they are doing and who they are doing it with.

    Kalen I think commune life is different, I say that based solely on our conversations, and while you have an open relationship with your parents, and I like to think we do with our children, it has still required lots of offense on mine and hubby’s part.

    Most kids are not going to mention over dinner, “Yeah, I cut school today to get high and drink with my boys. Johnny got so drunk he passed out, which was a bummer coz he is the only one who has a license, but since I’ve snuck out and driven your car I figured I could do the next beer run. I hit a car in the parking lot, and well I left, but I did get the beer. Oh, and it’s a good thing Johnny’s mom came home and called an abulance, they said Johnny would have died of alchohol poisoning. Hey, how the heck was I supposed to know he was sick and could die?”

    I wonder how many of you are sitting there sipping your coffee saying to yourself, “*My* kid would never do that!”

    Get over yourself. It happens.

    If I wasn’t told by my kid, how does one find out? How does one find out so as to prevent their kid from being the next Johnny? I do what a mom has to do.

    I wasn’t always a proponent of room invasions..

    I remember the first time hubby tossed one of my inncoent angel’s rooms. I was horrified! Aghast! “How can you do that? It violates so much!” He gave me that cocked eyebrow look of his and told me it was his right as a parent and went in. I stood outside the room refusing to enter and be a part of such madness. I even went so far as to call my dear sweet mother who I knew would never have done such a thing and asked, “Mom did you ever go through my room?” And mind you, I was a ‘good’ kid growing up. She admitted she had. I was mortified. Then I ran back upstairs and asked hubby what he found.

    Triumphantly he held up a note. And well, after reading it, let’s just say for me, a parent with blinders on, it opened my eyes. The thing is the note didn’t incriminate my kid, but it confirmed our suspicions regarding a friend. Said friendship was terminated. The girls were a piece of cake. The boys? ay yi yi yi

    I think we have a very open relationship with our children, but they are kids, and they experiment and they have, over the course of time, hung out with the wrong kids. It’s my job as a parent to be aware of all, and to do that, it requires a bit of espionage. Our kids know so long as they live uder my roof that room is mine, and if they have something to hide, hide it outside of my house.

    It’s funny, after we ‘er hubby did the first room tossing and the kids were up and arms about it, and it was explained ‘too effing bad’ (hubby has such a way with words), they shrugged it off.

    The boys got smarter over the years, but hubby is much smarter than the average bear.

  9. Karin

    Lee, the guy you were talking about was the one I mentioned. I remember seeing his mother on the news saying she hadn’t been in his room in years and I thought, wow, do you *not* go into your kid’s room?

    I forgot he hung himself.

    I’m totally with you on the parent’s right thing. It works/worked in the Tabke household. It may not work in others. I’ve always told my kids, I’m not your friend, I’m your parent. I’ll be your friend when you move out.

  10. Lee

    The sad thing about that kid, when he was in custody, he was generally a nice kid. Wanted to kill a bunch of people, but he was well mannered and polite to the officers. He hung himself when he got to Folsom. We weren’t surprised. I talked him on numerous occasions, trying to keep him safe in custody. Very bright, but mom and dad needed to toss him room, they might have saved him.
    My kids hated it when I went through their stuff. But oh, well, they got over it. I didn’t trust them, or their friends. I saw way to much to know they weren’t any different then what came through the doors of booking. I can’t tell you how many times I had parents screaming at me to release their little sweet boy, who just tried to drowned the neighbor kid in the family pool, just for the fun of it.
    Now my oldest son has two teenagers, and two more on the cusp of teenhood. He tosses their rooms on a regular bases, and now he knows why I did it to him. One day he was yelling at his oldest son, and said, “Remember cowboy, you’re subject to search and seizure in my house.” Made a me proud.

  11. Karin

    Lee said, “One day he was yelling at his oldest son, and said, “Remember cowboy, you’re subject to search and seizure in my house.” Made a me proud.”

    lol, I know both of my girls have said they will do the same thing with their kids. I just asked my oldest son if he would, and he’s on the fence. He did remind me what an invasion of his privacy it was. I said, “Yeah yeah, whatever, you got over it.” Then I looked at him and my heart swelled. The boy is alive because we invaded his privacy. Sigh. Next life I’m coming back as a birth control pill. Raising kids today is scary as hell. To you single moms out there, you have my utmost respect.

  12. Lee

    For most of my children’s life I was a single mom, which was why I had to be so tough. I had three kids and someone had to be charge, and I’ll be damned if was going to be my kids. When I got married again, it didn’t stop there, then Louie jumped on the band wagon. The only thing that changed, I could afford more for them. I honestly think tough love in this day and age is the only way. Its harder now to be a parent then when my kids were growing up. Its a real scarry world.

  13. Officer Friendly

    Lee, the key to all of this is being a parent and accepting the responsibility that comes with that title. It means making the hard decisions in the best interest of your children. It means pissing them off sometimes for their greater good. It means keeping them from themselves, sometimes. It means shaping and molding them into self reliant, responsibile adults, capable of making the right decisions and taking care of themselves and later, taking care of their own.

    It’s like those commercials where the kids are talking to their parents: You ruined my friendships, you stuck your nose in my business, you were hard on me, you forced me to do things I didn’t want to do. Thank you mom. Thank you dad. Thank you. Thank you.

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