Updated: Sep 21
We are familiar with “laughing gas” used by dentists to children when they want to undergo a dental procedure. We are also aware that whipped creams are placed in metal canisters to preserve its quality. But both of them include a chemical compound - Nitrous Oxide that can be broken down in smaller quantities and placed in cartridges called Whippits. Whippits are commonly used to charge whipped cream dispensers.
People misuse whippits to get high. But remember, everything used in excess is dangerous. Here are ten facts you should know about Whippit Abuse.
1. Whippits, Whippets, and Whip-Its Are The Same
Whippits are inhalations of nitrous oxide gases that are sucked out of a whipped-cream can. Along with Whippets and Whip-Its, Whippits is the street name for a nitrous oxide charger. They have different spellings, but they all refer to the same thing.
2. Nitrous Oxide Is A Safe Drug
Nitrous Oxide is a safe sedation method for both adults and children who prefer the less painful way. When inhaled, it can cause dizziness - a normal effect of nitrous oxide. The use of nitrous oxide must be administered by a health professional to be considered as safe as they control and monitor the dosage the patient gets.
3. Whippits Do Not Have The Same High As Other Drugs
Other drugs cause a high that overwhelm the brain’s pleasure system. But inhaling nitrous oxide has a different effect. People who inhale nitrous oxide develop a weak feeling or a tingling sensation throughout their bodies. Some get a “high” that can last for around a minute, while others last for a few minutes. But the Alcohol and Drug Foundation reminds us that how a person responds to nitrous oxide will depend on their body mass indexes, such as weight and height, the frequency and amount of use, and other drugs or substances they took when they inhaled nitrous oxide.
4. Inhaling Too Much Whippit Can Be Dangerous
While whippits are mainly used for pain relief, some people still use it for recreational purposes because it gives users a euphoric feeling that will make them “high.” However, too much whippits can be life-threatening. Some effects of whippit abuse include:
Some people cover their faces when they inhale whippits. If you passed out while inhaling whippits, chances are you will choke on your vomit.
There are rare long-term side effects of nitrous oxide as it reverses quickly, but it may lead to a vitamin B-12 deficiency or anemia. However, immediately consult your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms hours or days after receiving nitrous oxide.
5. Whippits Can Result To Organ Damage
As mentioned earlier, the long-term side effects of nitrous oxide are not common. But when you inhale nitrous oxide all the time, it can cause severe and permanent organ damage. Since inhaling nitrous oxide deprives us of oxygen, it can result in the difficulty of our lungs to absorb oxygen properly, and worse, damage our lungs. It can also speed up impaired vision and hearing, mobility, heart, liver, and kidney complications.
6. Addictive Tendencies With Nitrous Oxide
People rely on inhalants to relieve stress and forget their problems. However, repeated use of inhalants can lead to addiction, a form of substance use disorder (SUD). A person has SUD when their continued use of the drug results in different issues, such as difficulty in focus, finishing tasks, and health problems.
According to Becky Hoskins, an RCN Member, “little is known about the addictive nature of nitrous oxide, but it is accepted that a psychological dependency can occur for frequent users.” Some people also mix whippits with “hippy crack,” alcohol, and other drugs, which can lead to severe complications and a higher risk of addiction.
If a person shows withdrawal symptoms when they reduce or stop using the inhalant, it is a sign of drug dependence. Rehabilitation takes time, and it requires an overhaul of a person’s lifestyle.
7. Balloons Are Used To Inhale Whippits
People use party balloons to inhale whippits as they are easier to use, and they can quickly inhale the nitrous oxide, unlike a canister where the gas exits the container quickly. They may also get frostbites because the gas gets cold when it leaves the pressurized container. Nitrous oxide inside a balloon will cause the gas to warm up, and people can control the amount of the gas they want to inhale.
8. Canisters Are Signs of Whippit Abuse
Some clear signs of Whippit abuse are discarded metal canisters, empty balloons, and strange-smelling balloons due to chemicals. Another noticeable sign a person is under Whippit abuse is the use of canister crackers. Canister Cracker is a small tube used to open whippit canisters. They are sold online for the sole purpose of open gas canisters and not for recreational use of whippits.
9. Whippits Are The Most Common Inhalant
Inhalants are the most common recreational activity to get a “high” because it’s easier. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the research shows that 11.8 million people inhale nitrous oxide for recreational use. This number concludes that it is double the number of people who used the next most common inhalant. Hence, Whippits make the most common inhalant.
10. Vitamin B12 Can Help Recover From Whippit Abuse
As mentioned earlier, frequent use of toxic inhalants such as nitrous oxide can lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Luckily, Whippit abuse can still be treated by Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 brings wonders to our body as it includes all nutrients needed. For instance, a case report shows that a person under Whippit abuse injected 1,000 micrograms of Vitamin B12 every day for one week, and weekly for one month. It resulted in a significant improvement to the patient’s body.
But not everyone experiences the same results in treating the side effects of nitrous oxide with Vitamin B12, according to several studies. While Vitamin B12 may help alleviate nerve problems, reducing the use of nitrous oxide helps completely stop Whippit abuse.
Treat Whippit Abuse With Us
Treating Whippit abuse is still possible, as long as you immediately seek your nearest doctor who specializes in treating substance use disorders. Recovery Blvd Treatment Center is one of the recognized Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Oregon for young adults.
To know more about Whippit Abuse, you can visit our website or our Facebook page. You can also call (866) 231-3007 or visit our clinic at 1316 SE 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214, to book an appointment.