There is a dangerous substance used by some people to get high that you should know about. Known by the slang term “whippits”, this substance is actually nitrous oxide gas that is inhaled to create the desired effect.
Nitrous oxide is also sometimes known as “laughing gas”, and it has some legitimate uses in our world. For example, it is often used in reasonable doses in dentists’ offices to help calm patients who may have anxiety about visiting the dentist. However, when this gas is abused and used simply to get high, the impacts can be devastating.
What are Whippits?
Arch Academy, an institution dedicated to spreading information about the potential misuse of drugs, has stated the following about how whippits got their name:
“Whippets” (also spelled “whippits” or “whip-its”) is modern slang for nitrous oxide used as a recreational inhalant. The name comes from whipped-cream canisters, which users crack open to get at the gas inside. Being easy to obtain from legitimately purchased products, whippets now rank among the top 10 most abused drugs in the world.
The danger is so high that it is illegal to sell nitrous oxide to minors at all, but the most likely age group to abuse this gas remains those in their teenage years. They are often able to obtain the drug through illegal means such as through a friend over the age of 18. This is something that society must take a hard look at if it intends to stave off some of the biggest threats to its teenagers going forward.
Nitrous Oxide Side Effects
There are both short-term and long-term side effects that accompany the use and abuse of nitrous oxide. Short-term effects can be uncomfortable, but at least some people find them to be manageable enough that they continue to use whippits regardless. Naturally, this can be a major danger for developing even more severe health effects in the long term.
In the short-term, abusers of this gas may experience:
Typically, most users do not develop symptoms that last long-term, but it can happen. There are some people who have respiratory systems that are not up to the task of handling the abuse of whippits. They might find themselves particularly ill after trying whippits even one time. Since you never know what your system can or cannot handle, it is always best to avoid activities such as this which could do serious damage to your body.
Long-term effects of whippit use may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Brain damage
Safety Issues with Nitrous Oxide
This substance is so well known for being abused and producing potentially negative consequences for the users that there are specific restrictions on this substance being administered to certain types of people.
Groups that can experience extreme negative consequences from nitrous oxide include:
- Pregnant people in their first trimester
- Those with a history of mental health conditions
- Those with a history of substance abuse disorders
- Someone with a B-12 vitamin deficiency
- Anyone with a history of respiratory illness
These groups are all at higher risk of health problems if they inhale the gas, and that is why they are on a banned list. It is unfortunate because there are legitimate uses for nitrous oxide that may benefit the patient, but the level of risk is too high for people in these groups.
If it is known that nitrous oxide used in regulated quantities is a risk for people in certain demographic groups, then we should all be seriously concerned about what this says for those who are abusing the substance. It clearly may put them at severe risk of having an adverse reaction to this.
Exposure to nitrous oxide over a long period of time may cause someone to develop a B-12 vitamin deficiency. The risk here is that this may contribute to nerve damage that is both very painful and impossible to reverse. These are the potential consequences for someone abusing something like nitrous oxide.
Treatment for Whippit Addiction
The prevalence of inhalant abuse use has become so high now that there are special programs designed for people who are dealing with whippit addiction. They need and deserve help to try to deal with the challenges of being addicted to a substance.
Those who undergo treatment for whippit abuse must be fully committed to controlling their addiction to this substance. Help is available, but it should be understood that there is not a single cure for someone who is addicted to anything. There are only steps that can be taken to try to manage those addictions.
Get Help with Whippit Addiction at Inland Detox
Whippits are a dangerous inhalant that is made up of nitrous oxide gas and is commonly called laughing gas. Whippit abuse can lead to short-term and long-term effects and is commonly abused by young people.
If you or a loved one are struggling with whippit abuse, reach out to Inland Detox today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our inpatient program.