Whippet is the street name for canisters of whipped cream that are utilized for inhaling nitrous oxide (better known as laughing gas). This colorless gas possesses a sweeter smell and is legitimately utilized for the purpose of pain relief, anesthetic, and to reduce anxiety. Nitrous oxide interacts together with human organisms in several ways to create varied effects.
Firstly, it bonds to various kinds of opioid receptors within the body in order to decrease pain. It is able to stimulate the body, releasing its own opioids, such as enkephalins and endorphins that relieve pain. Animal studies have revealed that this nitrous oxide bonds with receptors throughout the body to diminish anxious feelings. Finally, nitrous oxide works with the brain’s neurons in order to induce anesthesia.
Is Nitrous Oxide A Safe Treatment for Pain?
Nitrous oxide has years of safe use underlying it as a prescribed treatment for pain. It has also proven to be an abused substance because of the relaxing, euphoric, and dissociative impacts it creates for recreational drug users. Whippits are both legal and all too easy to get, making them highly popular with teenagers.
What Are the Known Side Effects Associated with Whippets?
Whippets are serious enough that it can cause death for abusers. The main cause of such death comes from asphyxiation. When you inhale the nitrous oxide out of a canister repeatedly, this restricts the intake of oxygen that your body needs desperately. Higher concentrations of the nitrous oxide will, in time, replace the oxygen that is available to the body from the lungs. These types of inhalants disturb the body’s process of delivering oxygen around the organism, so raising the odds of a user actually suffocating and then dying.
Besides this, using whippets can cause severe damage to the nerves. The substance deactivates your body’s supply of Vitamin B12 that is critical for your nerve functions. This damage to the nerves can show up as a tingling or numbness in the extremities of the user, lead to mental issues, or even cause partial or full bodily paralysis. Most, unfortunately, such damage is often permanent and irreversible. Studies on individuals who are abusers of the nitrous oxide revealed that even when Vitamin B12 supplements are administered, fully 75 percent of the patients will never completely overcome their prior nerve damage.
The burst of cold air that accompanies the release of the nitrous oxide from the canisters of compressed air often causes other serious damage to the abuser’s body. This cold air can negatively impact their vocal cords, skin, and lungs, creating lasting damage. Other sometimes serious side effects of using whippets include the following:
- Heart Attacks
The Scale of the Whippets Epidemic in America Today
SAMHSA released its “National Survey on Drug Use and Health” in 2013. In this report, they determined that more than 21 million Americans had abused inhalants within their lifetimes. It is a huge quantity of individuals that represents roughly eight percent of study participants.
It is true that the abuse of Whippets is not quite an epidemic like the opioid national crisis or the increase in addictions to meth. Yet whippets continue to make the headlines. The Dutch determined in 2015 that the abuse of nitrous oxide was increasing and was highly common in European ravers and clubbers. An American study headed by Garakani and company back in 2016 determined that the case studies published on nitrous oxide abuse are increasing.
Forms of Whippits
Besides taking the nitrous oxide from used compressed canisters, another common form has become more popular as it is safer. Abusers have found that they can release the nitrous oxide into any balloon. Thanks to the balloon warming up the gas, it is easier to inhale in this form.
Nitrous Oxide Abuse Is A Serious Problem
This inhaling abuse has become a serious problem in the United States and Europe. The “National Survey on Drug Use and Health” from the 2013 year led by the SAMHSA showed that over 21 million Americans have already abused such inhalants as whippets. They are only one kind of these abused substances sadly.
Making whippets more dangerous still is that younger people gain a false sense of security with them. The product is a common household one in the form of a can of whipped cream. They often do not realize that it will cause addiction and lead to severe abuse to their bodies. When misused, these whippets are anything but harmless.
Whippit Abuse Is Potentially Life-Threatening
The high produced by whippets are short-lasting. This causes teens to hit them time and again repeatedly. The problem with this is that continued inhaling of the nitrous oxide in such higher concentrations is often lif- threatening. Your brain can quickly become deprived of its critical oxygen supply.
Some kids take it while wearing a face mask or in tiny enclosed spaces (such as their cars), which often leads to brain damage that can not be reversed and, in many cases, causes actual instant death. It only needs a little bit of nitrous oxide abuse to cause aspiration, seizures, trauma, irregular heart rhythms, and failure of heart and lung functions that can be fatal. Nitrous oxide becomes even more lethal if it is combined with other types of drugs or mixed with alcohol.
A number of your organs can suffer irreparable harm from the sucking of nitrous oxide. This includes the risk to your lungs, brain, kidneys, heart, and liver, per the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. There is also a serious risk of injuring with frostbite your nose, mouth, vocal cords, and other areas of your external skin when you inhale straight out of the whipped cream canister.
Whippets Are Highly Addictive
Many abusers have no idea just how addictive these whippets actually are. Yet the nitrous oxide definitely alters the reward system of the brain. Medical research so far suggests that the impacts of nitrous oxide on your opioid system can be, in part, to blame for the possibility of abusing it to the point of becoming addicted. When individuals determine that they can not quit the whippets or are beginning to suffer the negative effects of doing them, they are likely already heavily addicted to nitrous oxide.
The Complications from Whippit Abuse
There is a range of problems your body will start to experience from inhaling whippets. These include the health deficiencies caused by the loss of Vitamin B12 to the body, such as:
- Balance Issues
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Tingling and Numbness
- Mood Swings, Delusions, and Paranoia
- Memory Issues
The good news is that there are effective treatments that are available for the side effects brought on by whippets. One of the easiest is to consume a strong Vitamin B12 supplement as the body is weaning itself off of the whippets.
Important Signs of Whippet Abuse to Look Out For
For anyone who fears that a loved one may be abusing whippets, a few key signs tell tales. Look out for cracked cans of whipped cream in the house or garbage cans. The canisters often get broken so that users can hit the nitrous oxide more easily. Another warning sign is strange smelling balloons that will be left all around the house.
Nitrous Oxide Abuse Is Treatable
Fortunately, a number of different and effective drug rehab programs exist for delivering safe recovery and detox off of Whip-Its. Call and get help today. There is no valid reason to lose a loved one to a whippets-induced death today.