Whippets are a common street name for the nitrous oxide that comes out of certain canisters and containers such as whipped cream and certain types of spray cheeses. While the purchasing of these common household products is legal, the use of these cans in a manner other than directed, such as whippets is not.
That, however, doesn’t stop many people from using and abusing whippets as an easy way of getting high with little to no legal repercussions. Many people also assume that since nitrous oxide is found in these common household items that it isn’t dangerous to the body, which is simply not true. The effects of whippets can have an impact on a person’s body.
So, what exactly are whippet drugs and how can they do damage to both the body and the brain? Let’s take a look.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas that can be found in several household products and also has many legal uses. It is also referred to as “laughing gas” and is commonly administered during dental procedures and sometimes even during pregnancy for pain relief. Additionally, nitrous oxide is the gas that can be found in your standard can of whipped cream or spray-on cheese.
The noise that those cans make when the substance is coming out of it is the nitrous oxide working as a propellant to get the whipped cream or cheese product to come out of the can.
How Do People Abuse Whippets?
Like so many other substances of abuse, whippets were not created with the sole purpose of the product being used and abused in ways other than directed. However, over time, it was discovered that inhaling this nitrous oxide can create feelings of euphoria and even make a person feel high. Over the years, people have discovered more and more ways you abuse nitrous oxide and there are now several ways in which someone can do whippets. This is where whippet drug use emerges.
The first, and most common way in which people abuse nitrous oxide is through simply inhaling the nitrous oxide from the whipped cream can. When the can of whipped cream runs low or is even empty, there is still nitrous oxide in there, making it easy to inhale.
Another common way in which people abuse whippets is by filling up a balloon with nitrous oxide and then inhaling said nitrous oxide out of the balloon. The third way might be the most dangerous. Some people use what is called a “cracker” to release the nitrous oxide and then inhale it directly. A cracker is the metal tube that props open the whippet when it’s screwed in. The nitrous oxide is released from holes in the top of it.
Using this method can be more dangerous than the others because the tube can get very cold to the point of freezing a person’s fingers and lips and it also releases the nitrous oxide at dangerously high pressure. This is one of the many negative effects of whippets.
Are Whippets Actually Addictive Though?
While you can not become physically addicted to whippets, over time you can develop a psychological addiction to it. When someone starts abusing nitrous oxide more and more frequently, they begin to develop a tolerance to it, resulting in them needing to use more and more of it in order to reach their desired effect. This can lead to the brain constantly craving it and needing it because it thinks that it needs this nitrous oxide in order to function properly. Frequent whippet drug use also has its share of health problems as well.
What Are Some of The Health Issues Associated With Whippet Abuse?
While nitrous oxide isn’t physically addicting, constantly abusing it can have some significant health-related consequences. The biggest health issue related to whippet use is the lack of oxygen the brain gets when the nitrous oxide is being inhaled. If the brain and body can’t get enough oxygen that can lead to hypoxia which can lead to permanent brain and muscle damage. The effects of whippets can be dangerous in some cases.
Another serious issue that can develop is the occurrence of a B12 deficiency. Over time, prolonged nitrous oxide use can deplete the body’s B12 supply, which is an essential vitamin needed to keep the nerves and blood cells healthy. A lack of the proper amounts of B12 can lead to:
- Muscle and limb spasms
- Ringing in the ears
- Reproductive dysfunction
- A weakened immune system
- Numbness of the hands or feet
In addition to the two significant medical issues, prolonged whippet use can also lead to:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of coordination
- Low blood pressure
- Heart dysfunction
- Liver and Kidney damage
What Are Some of the Signs of Whippet Abuse and Addiction?
Since there is no physical addiction associated with whippet drug use, it can sometimes be tough to spot a whippet addiction. This goes for not only the person abusing whippets but those around them as well. Plus, whippets can be obtained easily and legally through common products found at the grocery store. People don’t even have to go out of their way or make a special purchase in order to get their “fix”. That’s why it is so important to know the signs to look for when it comes to spotting a possible whippet or nitrous oxide addiction. These signs include:
- Impaired function
- Balloons lying around for no real reason
- Cracked whipped cream cans
- Having more whipped cream cans in the house than someone would normally have
- Spending a significant amount of time doing whippets
- Whippet crackers
- Going through multiple whippet containers a day
- Sores on lips from frostbite linked to whippet inhaling
- Needing to inhale whippets to get through the day
- Losing interest in social activities
- Acting weird if the topic of whippets gets brought up
- Trying to stop but being unable to
- Repeated injuries as a result of lightheadedness
If you or someone you know might be suffering from a whippet addiction, it is important to get help right away before it is too late. As we mentioned above, untreated whippet abuse can lead to serious and possibly fatal health-related issues.
Can I Overdose on Whippet Drugs?
Not only can you overdose on whippets, but it’s easier than you might think. Due to the fact that the high that someone gets from whippets only lasts a few minutes, someone abusing whippets will have to use it frequently and more of it. If enough nitrous oxide is inhaled in a short period of time, it can cause a person’s blood pressure to drop. This drop in blood pressure could end up causing a loss of consciousness. It can also lead to a heart attack or even death.
Can I Get Treatment for Whippet Abuse or Addiction?
If you or someone you know is suffering from whippet drug use or addiction, the good news is that there are options out there to get help. While in most situations the first step in the treatment process is detox, since whippet addiction is completely psychological, there is no need to enter into a detox program. If the whippet addiction is part of a co-occurring disorder involving a substance that has a physical dependence then detox will still be needed.
Like all other types of addiction, there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for whippets. Upon entering treatment you will sit down with a treatment professional where your treatment plan will be created to fit you and your needs. As part of our inpatient treatment program at Coastal Detox, we offer a wide variety of treatment methods and therapies for all types of addictions, including nitrous oxide and whippets. Some of the therapies and programs that we offer include:
- Individual and Group Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Relapse Prevention
- Wellness Groups
In addition to our traditional therapies and programs, we also provide a variety of alternative treatment methods including:
- Far Infrared Sauna
- Massage Therapy
- Chiropractic Therapy
- Amino Acid Hydration Therapy
- Biosound Bed
Are You In Need of Treatment for Whippet Drugs?
While you can’t develop a physical addiction to whippets and nitrous oxide, you can develop a psychological addiction to it. In addition, the toll that whippets can take on the brain and the body is significant and can lead to major medical problems or even death. That’s why any sort of addiction or dependency on whippets should be treated with the same level of care as any other substance of abuse.
Here at Coastal Detox we understand that which is why we offer a full array of treatment options to those who are abusing whippets and suffering as a result. If you or someone you know is dealing with whippet abuse or a nitrous oxide addiction, contact us today. We will get you on the road to recovery so that you can live a happy, healthy, and sober life.