Table of Contents
Whip Its Can Have Serious Effects: Learn About the Dangers
You know that can of whipped cream in the fridge? It isn’t the whipped cream that is a health risk—but the nitrous oxide booster. The nitrous is what turns the contents into whipped cream. This is what can cause serious harm to a young person who tries “whip-its.”
Whip-its is just another type of the scary inhalant craze among kids and teens. It is crucial that parents know how their teen might be using these items. Knowledge can help them be on the lookout so they can take action if needed.
It isn’t just teens who are in on this bizarre drug craze. Actress Demi Moore had to go to the hospital at age 50 due to binging on nitrous, She used nitrous oxide from industrial grade whipped cream chargers.
The dental profession is a problem, too. Dentists use nitrous to aid patients during dental work so it is right there in the office. Some dentists and dental hygienists have wound up addicted to the gas.
As fringe as the practice of whip-it abuse seems, more than 12 million people have tried it, states statistics from SAMHSA. Whether via a can of whipped cream, a booster, a helium tank, or a balloon, doing whip-its is dangerous.
About Whip-Its and Nitrous Oxide Abuse
The name “whip its” refers to getting high from sucking the nitrous oxide out of a whipped cream can. The broader use of the term refers to any form of nitrous oxide abuse. This would include sniffing straight from the canisters of nitrous used for filling helium balloon. It also includes the small nitrous whipped cream chargers used in restaurants. Whip-its are also called “hippie crack,” “laughing gas,” “ballooning,” “noz,” and “chargers.” Whip its are used in the open at raves, dance clubs, rock concerts, and parties in balloon form.
Nitrous oxide has no color. It is a non-flammable gas that has a sweet scent. It is used to manage pain during dental or outpatient surgeries. Nitrous oxide canisters are legal to purchase and use for blowing up balloons at a party. The gas is very easy to obtain. Likewise, any dairy case will offer an array of whipped cream products. Teens have no problem getting their hands on these products.
The nitrous oxide is used in these ways:
- Sucking the gas from a balloon.
- The gas is inhaled quickly from a canister or charger. Sometimes these are punctured and the vapors are inhaled through the nose.
- Sucking the gas out of a whipped cream can before shaking the product. The nitrous oxide propels the whipped cream out of the can.
- Inhaling the gas with a bag placed over the head.
Health Dangers of Whip It Abuse
The “high” from sniffing nitrous oxide is very brief. It lasts only about three minutes in all. Therefore, people wanting to produce a longer lasting effect will repeat the process of inhaling the vapors many times. The high causes feelings of euphoria, lightheadedness, feeling uninhibited, and hallucinations.
Inhaling nitrous is risky. Unlike its use in the medical or dental field where oxygen is added, straight nitrous oxide can cause health dangers. These dangers include:
- Accidents due to feeling dizzy and unstable.
- Hearing loss.
- Freezes facial tissue.
- Slowed body movements.
- Slurred speech.
- Brain damage.
- Heart damage.
- Liver damage.
- Lung damage.
- Limb spasms.
- Bone marrow damage.
- Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to brain and body tissues can be fatal.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency that can lead to spinal cord problems. This can leave the user with nerve damage that causes stiff limbs, weakness, or tingly hands.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Choking on own vomit leading to death.
The condition called Sudden Sniffing Death can occur after just one use of a highly concentrated use of the gas. This happens often with a bag over the head or using a mask. This can cause the heart to stop within moments.
Inhalant Abuse Facts
Whip its as a form of drug abuse is seeing a new wave of popularity. Because kids and teens can access common household products it is this group that has the most inhalant abuse. Teens seeking high-risk thrills are fueled by teens on YouTube videos. They may be drawn in on a dare or simply out of curiosity. Often, these teens are not informed about the dangers that sniffing these products pose to their health and wellbeing.
Of all the inhalants being abused, the nitrous oxide category is the most popular. Other products include Dust-Off, Freon, glue, spray paints, gasoline, lighter fluid, and vegetable oil sprays. Kids also use felt-tip marker fluid, paint thinner, butane lighters, and leather cleaner.
Rehab programs are able to help young people who have been doing whip-its. Many times, teens who abuse whip-its also abuse other drugs as well. Treatment is based on the level of substance abuse and how long it has gone on. Parents can choose an outpatient or inpatient rehab program, based on how severe the problem is. Rehabs have diverse levels of care and treatment options.
The Treatment Specialist Locates High Quality Addiction Treatment Programs
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource center. We provide info and guidance for people or their loved ones who are in need of addiction or mental health treatment. Whip its can have devastating long-term effects. The Treatment Specialist’s free service can guide you with treatment options for teens who have a problem with whip its.
Parents who suspect their teen might be using inhalants or doing whip-its should contact our team today at (866) 644-7911.