When you think about people having a substance abuse addiction, nitrous oxide may not be high on the list. But statistics show nearly 30 percent of Americans will abuse whippits and nitrous oxide at some point in their lives. Inhalant abuse is such a serious problem that the state of New York is now enforcing a law that prohibits the sale of whipped cream chargers to customers who are under 21. This is because the small gas canisters of nitrous oxide, known as whippits, can be inhaled to get high. If you find yourself feeling addicted to whippits, here’s how drug rehab in Scottsdale can help.
As we take a closer look at whippits and how people become addicted, we’ll also examine the signs of whippit abuse, and its effects on the body.
What are Whippits?
Whippits are a method of abusing inhalant nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, has been a widely used inhalant since the 19th century and is still used by dentists today as a sedative.
Inhalant abuse of nitrous oxide through small canisters intended for whipped cream chargers has become increasingly popular. While these are not “drugs” in the traditional form, they are still considered a substance or drug when they are abused.
Whippits fall under the inhalant drug category, including household solvents and aerosol cans that are breathed into the lungs to get high.
How do People Become Addicted to Whippits?
While people can take longer to become addicted to whippits than other inhalants, the addiction can still have damaging effects. A major factor with whippits is how someone gets high and how nitrous oxide impacts the brain. When someone inhales whippits from the steel canisters, it leads to a lack of oxygen which produces lightheadedness.
When people abuse whippits, they can either inhale nitrous oxide directly through canisters or use crackers. Crackers are devices used to crack open the canisters so gas can be inhaled directly. Nitrous oxide can also be extracted by pushing the nozzle down slightly to the side and catching the released gas with a balloon.
The effects of whippits can vary depending on whether other drugs have been combined and the amount of nitrous oxide that was inhaled. The frequency of the inhalations also plays a role. When abused, nitrous oxide can lead to hallucinations and other effects.
Whippit Abuse Statistics
While whippit abuse may not be taken as seriously as other forms of drug abuse, statistics paint a different picture.
- Nearly 1/3 of people inhaling nitrous oxide reported having hallucinations
- 10% of teenagers will try whippits or other inhalants
- Between 2017 and 2018, whippit use increased more than 35 percent among 12 to 17-year-olds
Another important statistic to consider is that less than 30 percent of people abusing nitrous oxide even knew of the potential health risks. This may contribute to the fact that more people are trying whippits because they don’t realize how dangerous they can really become. Another driving factor in the popularity of whippits is their low cost and wide availability.
Signs of Whippit Use
It may be difficult to realize that someone you love is abusing whippits. But there are some signs that could signal trouble. These are:
- Mouth sores
- Sore throat without explanation
- Red, blurry eyes
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Having whippit paraphernalia around (silver canisters, cracking machines)
If you notice any of these symptoms in a loved one, it could indicate inhalant abuse. Helping to get them treatment can prevent the addiction from continuing and from severe damage setting in.
What are the Effects of Abusing Whippits?
Abusing whippits carries both short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects include:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Mild Hallucinations
- Blurred vision
- Loss of coordination
- Impaired judgment
Long-term effects of whippit abuse are more serious and can even be life-threatening. Long-term effects include:
- Low blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Heart problems
- Memory problems
- Weakened immune system
- Brain damage
- Limb spasms
- Reduced Vitamin B12 levels
The reduction in B12 levels is especially concerning because it can lead to nerve damage. People can also overdose on whippits due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can cause people to lose consciousness, go into a coma, and even die.
Many people don’t realize the dangers of nitrous oxide because it is often used in medical settings. Dentists and doctors typically administer oxygen in conjunction with nitrous oxide to ensure a patient’s safety and avoid brain damage. But, when people abuse whippits, they tend to use many cartridges in a short time. This overloads the central nervous system with much larger amounts of nitrous oxide than would ever be used in a medical setting. This deprives the body of oxygen and raises carbon dioxide levels, leading to dangerous results.
Do Whippits Have Withdrawal Symptoms?
Unlike other substances, people usually don’t experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop abusing whippits. But excessive users often experience cravings. This often leads them to want larger doses to get the same high. This is the same scenario with people who take large amounts of other substances.
How Can a Drug Rehab in Scottsdale Help People Who are Addicted to Whippits?
At Desert Cove Recovery, we understand that many people can develop an addiction to whippits. Our team is trained to understand the dangers of whippits and help people with all types of drug abuse.
If you or someone you love has developed an addiction to whippits, let us devise a customized treatment plan. We know that each client’s addiction is different and that their treatment needs to reflect that.
Treatment can include a variety of therapies as well as holistic approaches. Holistic approaches treat the mind, body, and spirit as someone tries to overcome a substance abuse disorder. Contact us today or reach out to us online so that we can begin to help you overcome your addiction.
Sources: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHDetailedTabs2018R2/NSDUHDetailedTabs2018.htm  https://www.yahoo.com/video/whippets-apos-know-ban-york-234850464.html  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15742-inhalant-abuse  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5349816/