August 31, 2021
Whippets, a drug that’s more dangerous than we think
Whippets are cartridges of nitrous oxide widely used to charge whipped cream dispensers. Whippets are also used clinically by dentists to alleviate anxiety and pain. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is widely available and therefore used as a drug for its euphoric effect.
But can nitrous oxide be addictive? The answer is yes!
Many people use whippets to get high.
A research study suggested that whippets are widely used as an inhalant in United States affecting nearly a million people. It also suggested that nearly 5.2 percent people aged over 26 years and 4.7 percent people over 12 years abuse whippet.
Is nitrous oxide safe for medical use?
Nitrous oxide is used during oral surgery. When inhaled, it triggers a floating experience, dizziness, and relieves pain. But the dose is determined by medical professionals and it should be administered under medical supervision only.
How does whippet affect your body? Is it’s mechanism the same as other drugs?
Drugs such as cocaine, opioids, or MDMA tricks the central nervous system (CNS) to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. As a result, the person feels happy, relaxed, and high.
However, nitrous oxide cuts off oxygen supply to the brain for 2 minutes and interferes with other pathways. The person abusing whippet will laugh uncontrollably, feel extremely happy, and experience a loss of sensation in limbs. Once the person gets addicted to whippet, the urge to bombard the brain with nitrous oxide turns into an outrageous temptation, compelling the person to use it within frequent intervals.
Nitrous oxide deprives the body and the brain of oxygen, which results in increasing carbon dioxide in body. People abusing whippet can face lethal consequences such as going into coma, hospitalization, or death.
Sudden oxygen deprivation is known as hypoxia which can damage the CNS and cause permanent disability including:
Another side effect of nitrous oxide abuse is vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. It is also important for normal brain function. People diagnosed for low vitamin B12, may have abused nitrous oxide. Vitamin B12 is also used as a treatment aid to combat the side effects of nitrous oxide abuse.
How do people consume whippet?
People try to inhale nitrous oxide by filling it in balloons to warm it and to be able to control it. Inhaling nitrous oxide from a canister or whippet can be difficult, because it escapes very fast and is cold in nature. If inhaled directly, it can permanently damage the lungs.
A sure-shot sign to recognize whippet abuse are finding empty balloons smelling of a strange chemical or a metal instrument called a cracker, used to open nitrous oxide canister.
According to a national survey, roughly around 9.1 million people in the United States are addicted to inhalants and nearly 11.8 million people abused nitrous oxide in their lifetime.
How we can help?
California Behavioral Healthcare helps treat people battling addiction and mental health issues. We have the best detox treatment centers, alcohol addiction treatment centers, and rehabilitation centers in California. We offer customized treatment plans as per individual requirement. Our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, psychotherapies, group therapy, and alternate therapies are effective in combatting comorbid or co-occurring conditions. To know more about us, call our 24/7 toll free number 866-225-6101. You can also chat online with our trainers available round the clock for more information.