Are you familiar with whippets? You may have seen videos or heard stories of people using them, but do you know what they are and why they pose a threat?
Whippets area chargers or small containers filled with nitrous oxide gas, one of the inhalant drugs used for recreational purposes. For many years they have been used to provide a short-lived euphoric high that can be repeated quickly.
However, whippets are also dangerous and their use can cause respiratory depression and hypoxia. In addition, whippet abuse has been linked to physical damage, such as neurological disorders and tissue loss in some cases.
This blog post will provide an overview of what exactly whippets are, their main dangers, why they appeal so much to abusers, and how we can help prevent their misuse among youth today.
Whippets Main Ingredient – Nitrous Oxide
Using whippets to inhale nitrous oxide as a recreational drug is popular amongst teens and young adults. Inhaling nitrous oxide from whipped cream chargers is dangerous and can cause irreversible brain damage and even death in some instances.
The main ingredient in whippets is nitrous oxide. In addition to being found in aerosol whipped cream dispensers, nitrous oxide can also be found in medical settings.
Inhaling nitrous oxide produces a calming effect, can reduce anxiety, elevate mood, provides a mild analgesic effect, and creates a dissociative experience.
Whippets Drug Effects Carries Serious Risks
Though whippets have been around for many years for pain relief and can be bought online without prescription, their recreational use carries serious risks such as lack of oxygen supply to the brain, fainting spells and falls, cold burns from the aerosol cans or whipping cream cartridges, addiction, and other health issues related to occupational exposure from people who use them when performing specific tasks.
How Are Whippets Used?
Users breathe the fumes from the whippet. Often they cover the whipped cream charger and their own head with a bag or face mask. Sometimes they transfer the nitrous oxide from the whippet to deflated balloons and then inhale the gas from the balloons.
Whippets (sometimes called whip-its) are easy to find and provide a quick sense of euphoria. Although they may appear safe compared to other drugs, they can cause addiction, health complications, and death from overdose or misuse.
It’s important to be informed about the risks and consequences of using whippets to inhale nitrous oxide gas.
Side Effects of Whippets Drug Abuse
Substance abuse can have consequences, and inhaling nitrous oxide from whippets is no different. Here are some potential side effects of this recreational drug:
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of coordination
- Impaired judgment
Severe long-term effects of vitamin B12 deficiencies can be debilitating, such as neurological damage and impaired muscle control. Individuals may also experience sensory issues, memory loss, and permanent tissue destruction. Other long-term effects of whippet abuse can include:
- Low blood pressure
- Poor immune system
- Liver and kidney damage
Signs That Someone May Be Abusing Whippets
When people abuse nitrous oxide, they may exhibit warning signs and symptoms that suggest a substance use disorder. Signs of whippet abuse may include:
Presence of empty or partially full whipped cream cans or whipped cream dispensers
Since these are the containers in which nitrous oxide gas is found, someone abusing whippets may have an excessive amount of these steel cartridges lying around.
Abusing whippets can cause a person to slur their words and become incoherent while speaking. They may also appear drunk without having consumed alcohol.
Whippet abuse can lead to rapid and severe mood swings due to their euphoric effects.
Lack of coordination
Slowed reflexes, difficulty standing or sitting up straight, and a general lack of coordination are signs of someone abusing whippets.
Sores around the mouth
When people inhale nitrous oxide, the cold gas temperature can cause painful sores around the mouth.
Other signs such as runny nose, sore throat, and difficulty concentrating are common signs of whippet abuse.
Treatments for Whippet Inhalant Abuse
Like other abused drugs, inhaling nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) can be addictive and dangerous. In some cases, people who use whippets may require professional treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with repeated use of whippets, there are treatments available that can help to address the problem. Treatment options typically involve:
- Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment programs provide intensive, daily care and counseling. Residential rehabilitation can last from a few days to several months. It is best for patients with higher levels of addiction.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient programs involve regularly scheduled visits with qualified mental health or addiction professionals. They are helpful for persons who need to remain involved with school, work or family situations.
- Support groups: Support group members help each other to cope with addiction’s psychological and emotional aspects.
- Therapy: Individual and group therapy is important to recovery from any substance abuse. Therapy can help individuals identify triggers, develop healthier coping skills, and gain insight into their addictive behavior.
If you or someone close to you is suffering from whippet abuse, it’s of utmost importance to seek help as soon as possible. Addiction can be conquered with the right assistance and guidance, and healthy living can become a reality.
How to Help a Loved One with Whippet Addiction
Abusing nitrous oxide can cause long-term health problems and psychological effects. If you or your loved one struggles with whippet use, it could be incredibly difficult for both of you. The good news is that there are steps you can take to begin the road to recovery.
Below are tips on how to help a loved one with whippet addiction.
Create a Supportive Environment
During the recovery process from an addiction, a supportive and safe environment is of invaluable importance. Take the time to show your loved one how much you care — offer encouraging words of support and let them know that you are there for them every step of the way. Make sure they know there is no judgment — just unconditional love and understanding. A kind presence can make all the difference in helping someone overcome their struggle with addiction.
With nitrous oxide abuse on the rise, educating yourself on the topic is important. Knowing how to identify and treat addiction is vital in helping your loved one make a full recovery.
Treating addiction may include resources such as attending therapy or group meetings, understanding triggers, and stresses that fuel the compulsion to use, and adopting healthier habits and behaviors.
With this information, you will be better equipped to confront the issue and ensure your beloved one gets all the help necessary for rehabilitation.
Encourage Professional Treatment
Addiction is a complex disorder that requires professional help to achieve long-term recovery. Professional care is the most effective way to treat substance abuse.
Encourage them to seek treatment from a mental health or addiction specialist and back this up with concrete plans for counseling, rehab, etc. If necessary, make sure that finances are not a barrier by exploring options for reimbursement or financial assistance.
Finally, if your loved one is unwilling to get help, seek guidance from a mental health professional on how best to approach the situation.
Above all else, remember that you are not alone — plenty of resources are available and professionals are ready and willing to assist you. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you or your loved one needs it.
How La Hacienda Can Help with Whippet Abuse
La Hacienda Treatment Center has experience helping those affected by whippet abuse and all substance use disorders.
For all our patients the medical and clinical staffs perform a thorough assessment upon their arrival. The staff seeks to be aware all health problems so they can best treat the patient.
La Hacienda is one of the few addiction treatment centers in Texas with an onsite medical staff and detoxification unit to manage withdrawal symptoms and help ease the transition from abusing nitrous oxide, alcohol, and other illegal drugs.
Individualized Treatment Plans
Once out of the detoxification unit, the clinical team follows an individualized treatment plan to create a measured accountability for success for each patient.
The staff at La Hacienda is committed to help people who want to live drug free and experience a life with out drugs.
Even though nitrous oxide is legal and widely available, it has a serious addiction potential with devastating consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with nitrous oxide abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
La Hacienda is devoted to supporting individuals in conquering addiction. We are here for you and your loved ones to make sure that the path toward healing is manageable and successful.
Please reach out to us and let us do what we can to help.