Drug High From 'Dusting' Is Fatal for One Teen

ByABC News via logo
March 21, 2006, 7:43 PM

March 22, 2006 — -- David Manlove was everything a parent could wish for -- a happy, healthy boy who loved his family and excelled in sports.

"He was just a great kid," said his father, Kim Manlove. "Warmly affectionate and loved to hug."

But as he got older, the Indianapolis teen began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. His drug use eventually got to a point that his brother, Josh, grew concerned.

"I said to my parents, 'OK, look, you need to do something about this.This is something that goes outside the normal high school experimentation kind of thing,'" Josh told "Good Morning America."

David's parents got David into treatment, and he seemed to respond well -- or so they thought. But David had started "dusting," a drug trend that proved fatal for him.

Dusting is inhaling, or "huffing," pressurized gas from a can of computer dusting spray to get high. Experts say it has grown more popular because it's cheap and readily available.

Kids put the straw from the can into their mouth and inhale as they spray the contents. That spray contains freon, which pushes oxygen out of the lungs and can cause a mini stroke or heart attack.

One in five teens say they have used inhalants by eighth grade. Using inhalants to get high goes by the names of "huffing," "sniffing" or "dusting," depending on what's being used. Common inhalants include glue, correction fluid, paint, shoe polish and gasoline or aerosols sprayed on a cloth.

Dusting, like other inhalant abuse, can be extremely dangerous. When a high-speed car wreck killed three teenage boys in Sacramento, Calif., a dusting can was found in the vehicle.

In Ohio a desperate mother called 911 after she found her son passed out after dusting: "This an emergency. My son has a can of, I don't know what it is. He's blue and he's discolored."

David Manlove's mother, Marissa, said David had probably started using dusters as early as a month after he started treatment for drug abuse.

David was hanging out at a friend's house last summer when Marissa got a frantic phone call.

"Josh and I rushed over to the house," she said. "They were wheeling him on a gurney. They were coming down the driveway, and I noticed that his feet were blue."

David had been dusting and jumped into the swimming pool, trying to intensify the high, but something went terribly wrong. David's body went into cardiac arrest. His first reaction was to inhale, but he took in water instead, said his family.

He was rushed to the hospital, but he couldn't be resuscitated.