Inhalant drugs are hazardous. Whippets are no different. The effects that nitrous oxide can have on the brain of the person abusing them can not only lead to a mental addiction to them, but it can also lead to potentially life-altering and irreversible damage to their brain. The effects of these nitrous oxide canisters can lead to devastating results, and knowing what to look for in loved ones can help be a catalyst to get them the help they need.
What Are Whippets?
Nitrous oxide canisters used in whipped cream containers are often inhaled to achieve a high. These canisters are also known as whippets, or laughing gas. These canisters contained pressurized nitrous oxide, which is often used in a medical setting such as the dentist’s office. However, it is becoming more and more common to inhale the contents of these little canisters in order to get high. Using them for the purpose of getting high can be extremely dangerous, and potentially it can be deadly.
How Do People Get Addicted to Whippets?
Whippets can be extremely addicting. The effects that the nitrous oxide canisters produce cause a sought-after high in users. They feel a head high from the effects of the nitrous oxide when they inhale it from a balloon or a canister. This causes them to continue abusing the canisters. The more they are abused, the more users want to experience the same high. This causes them to use more and more leading to a dependence on the chemicals the canisters contain.
Whippets are often used in conjunction with other inhalants. This is done in an effort to experience a different high than produced by just one of the inhalants. Other inhalants–including household chemicals–can have addictive properties as well.
How Long Do They Stay in the Body?
Typically, the chemicals in the canisters can stay in the body for 3 days. While this is a generalized standard, the actual amount of time it takes a person to metabolize the substance will vary from person to person. Frequent users can take 5 or more days to rid their bodies of the chemical properties in whippets.
Signs of Whippet Abuse
As with other drugs and alcohol, whippets also have some signs of abuse that loved ones could look out for. The obvious sign to look out for would be loose silver canisters around, these would be empty cans that the nitrous oxide is generally found in. Some other signs that could be watched for would be changes in behavior, mood, or personality.
Also, people struggling with substances tend to isolate themselves and stop participating in activities they once found to be enjoyable. They may show physical signs like nodding in and out of consciousness or drowsiness. Someone can also experience depression or moodiness due to a lack of a temporary whippet high.
Effects of Whippet Abuse
Initially, the effects of nitrous oxide abuse can result in a euphoric feeling. However, continued abuse can lead to some severe outcomes. Abusing these nitrous oxide canisters can cut off oxygen to the brain, lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, slowed heart rate, decreased blood pressure, disorientation, depression, and hallucinations.
The nitrous oxide could lead to potential brain damage in those who use it. Some cases of whippet abuse lead to death, either through behaviors that normally wouldn’t occur, or due to the lack of oxygen flow to the brain. Either way, abusing nitrous oxide can be fatal and should be stopped as soon as possible.
Nitrous oxide doesn’t have physically dependent properties. However, the use of these canisters long-term could result in some pretty severe psychological effects and cravings. Some can experience can experience withdrawal symptoms in the first 2 days of stopping it. Many feel anxiety, depression, sleepiness, and crave it. These cravings can be difficult to overcome without proper care and support that a professional could offer. The cravings associated with whippets often lead people who are trying to kick their habit back to using it in order to fend off the mental cravings they are going through.
Treatment for Whippet Abuse
Even though the physical dependence associated with nitrous oxide is lower than other drugs, the effects of whippets can be just as dangerous. The treatment for nitrous oxide abuse is very similar to those treatments for alcohol and other drugs. Anyone who uses drugs and alcohol addiction usually turns to these substances in order to hide from an underlying feeling that they don’t want to face.
The purpose of treating an addiction is to get to the root causes of said addiction. So, when treating whippet addiction, it should come as no surprise that the treatments are similar. Therapies like group therapy, DBT, CBT, and EMDR can be beneficial when combating addiction to nitrous oxide canisters. These therapies, under professional care, can provide new ways of thinking that can replace the ones that led to the substance abuse to begin with.
Ending Whippet Abuse
Abusing whippets can be a dangerous activity to participate in. The psychological effects can be damaging and long-term. If you or a loved one are struggling with these dangerous chemicals, we can help. At Brentwood Springs we offer individualized and personalized care for those who come to us for it. Our team of professionals is standing by.